Returning to the in/articulations of the death drives in 'Beyond the Pleasure Principle', this paper speculates about a literary debt that appears and disappears in Freud's essay. It follows the various modes of play within the text: the playing of a child's game, the staging of a tragic play, the magical play of examples, and the animate, incessant play of language—particularly the play of a single letter, O.
In the first Russian Roulette scene in the Deer Hunter, do the circumstances giving rise to Mike's and Nick's "rebellion" merely document Kahneman-Tversky-type glitches in the reasoning of their Vietcong captors, or does the scene also reveal a genuine inadequacy in our current understanding of interactive rationality--the resolution of which would have profound implications for rational choice theory and its myriad applications? I argue the latter.
Thirty-two vegans were interviewed in order to examine the reasons for becoming vegan, the sustaining motivation to persist, the interpersonal and intrapersonal impact of the diet and associated practices, and the vegans’ assessment of omnivores’ eating practices. Interviews were analyzed using a model that diagrams the process of becoming vegan provided by McDonald . Participants reported strained professional and personal relationships as a result of their diet and beliefs. Vegan diets were associated with an increase in physical, eudaemonic, and spiritual (...) well-being. (shrink)
In the earliest phase of his logical investigations, Peirce adopts Mill's doctrine of real Kinds as discussed in the System of Logic and adapts it to the logical conceptions he was then developing. In Peirce's definition of natural class, a crucial role is played by the notion of information: a natural class is a class of which some non-analytical proposition is true. In Peirce's hands, Mill's distinction between connotative and non-connotative terms becomes a distinction between symbolic and informative and pseudo-symbolic (...) and non-informative forms of representation. A symbol is for Peirce a representation which has information. Just as for Mill all names of Kind connote their being such, so for Peirce all symbols profess to correspond to a natural class. (shrink)
P.F. Strawson argued that ‘mature sensible experience (in general) presents itself as … an immediate consciousness of the existence of things outside us’ (1979: 97). He began his defence of this very natural idea by asking how someone might typically give a description of their current visual experience, and offered this example of such a description: ‘I see the red light of the setting sun filtering through the black and thickly clustered branches of the elms; I see the dappled (...) class='Hi'>deer grazing in groups on the vivid green grass…’ (1979: 97). In other words, in describing experience, we tend to describe the objects of experience – the things which we experience – and the ways they are when we are experiencing them. Some go further. According to Heidegger. (shrink)
Parthood and composition are everywhere. The leg of a table is part of the table, the word "Christmas" is part of the sentence "I wish you a merry Christmas", the 13th century is part of the Middle Ages. The Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg compose Benelux, the body of a deer is composed of a huge number of cells, the Middle Ages are composed of the Early Middle Ages, High Middle Ages, and Late Middle Ages. Is there really a general (...) theory covering every instance of parthood and composition? Is classical mereology this general theory? Are its seemingly counter-intuitive features serious defects? -/- Mereology: A Philosophical Introduction addresses the multifaceted and lively philosophical debates surrounding these questions, and defends the idea that classical mereology is indeed the general and exhaustive theory of parthood and composition in the domain of concrete entities. -/- Several examples of parthood and composition, involving entities of different kinds, are scrutinised in depth. Incidentally, mereology is shown to interact in a surprising way with metaontology. Presenting a well-organized and comprehensive discussion of parthood and related notions, Mereology: A Philosophical Introduction contributes to a better understanding of a subject central to contemporary metaphysics. (shrink)
Disjunctivists (Hinton 1973, Snowdon 1990, Martin 2002, 2006) often motivate their approach to perceptual experience by appealing in part to the claim that in cases of veridical perception, the subject is directly in contact with the perceived object. When I perceive a table, for example, there is no table-like sense-impression that stands as an intermediary between the table and me. Nor am I related to the table as I am to a deer when I see its footprint in the (...) snow. I do not experience the table by experiencing some- thing else over and above the table and its facing surface. I see the facing surface of the table directly. (shrink)
In 1979, Lewontin and I borrowed the archi- tectural term “spandrel” (using the pendentives of San Marco in Venice as an example) to designate the class of forms and spaces that arise as necessary byproducts of another decision in design, and not as adaptations for direct utility in them- selves. This proposal has generated a large literature featur- ing two critiques: (i) the terminological claim that the span- drels of San Marco are not true spandrels at all and (ii) the (...) conceptual claim that they are adaptations and not byprod- ucts. The features of the San Marco pendentives that we explicitly defined as spandrel-properties—their necessary number (four) and shape (roughly triangular)—are inevitable architectural byproducts, whatever the structural attributes of the pendentives themselves. The term spandrel may be extended from its particular architectural use for two- dimensional byproducts to the generality of “spaces left over,” a definition that properly includes the San Marco pendentives. Evolutionary biology needs such an explicit term for features arising as byproducts, rather than adaptations, whatever their subsequent exaptive utility. The concept of biological span- drels—including the examples here given of masculinized genitalia in female hyenas, exaptive use of an umbilicus as a brooding chamber by snails, the shoulder hump of the giant Irish deer, and several key features of human mentality— anchors the critique of overreliance upon adaptive scenarios in evolutionary explanation. Causes of historical origin must always be separated from current utilities; their conf lation has seriously hampered the evolutionary analysis of form in the history of life. (shrink)
If it was a matter of hunting a deer, everyone well realized that he must remain faithful to his post; but if a hare happened to pass within reach of one of them, we cannot doubt that he would have gone off in pursuit of it without scruple..." Rousseau's story of the hunt leaves many questions open. What are the values of a hare and of an individual's share of the deer given a successful hunt? What is the (...) probability that the hunt will be successful if all participants remain faithful to the hunt? Might two deer hunters decide to chase the hare? (shrink)
Tim Crane University College London 1. Introduction P.F. Strawson argued that ‘mature sensible experience (in general) presents itself as … an immediate consciousness of the existence of things outside us’ (1979: 97). He began his defence of this very natural idea by asking how someone might typically give a description of their current visual experience, and offered this example of such a description: ‘I see the red light of the setting sun filtering through the black and thickly clustered branches of (...) the elms; I see the dappled deer grazing in groups on the vivid green grass…’ (1979: 97). In other words, in describing experience, we tend to describe the objects of experience – the things which we experience – and the ways they are when we are experiencing them. (shrink)
These essays are about education, learning, rational inquiry, philosophy, science studies, problem solving, academic inquiry, global problems, wisdom and, above all, the urgent need for an academic revolution. Despite this range and diversity of topics, there is a common underlying theme. Education ought to be devoted, much more than it is, to the exploration real-life, open problems; it ought not to be restricted to learning up solutions to already solved problems - especially if nothing is said about the problems that (...) provoked the solutions in the first place. There should be much more emphasis on learning how to engage in cooperatively rational exploration of problems: even five year olds could begin to learn how to do this. A central task of philosophy ought to be to keep alive awareness of our unsolved fundamental problems - especially our most fundamental problem of all, encompassing all others: How can our human world - and the world of sentient life more generally - imbued with the experiential, consciousness, free will, meaning and value, exist and best flourish embedded as it is in the physical universe? This is both our fundamental intellectual problem and our fundamental problem of living. As far as the latter is concerned, we are at present heading towards disaster - as our immense, unsolved global problems tell us: population growth, destruction of natural habitats and rapid extinction of species, vast inequalities of wealth and power around the world, pollution of earth, sea and air, our proclivity for war, and above all global warming. If we are to resolve our conflicts and global problems more intelligently, effectively and humanely than we have managed to do so far, then we have to learn how to do it. That, in turn, requires that our institutions of learning, our universities and schools, are rationally designed and devoted to the task. At present they are not. That is the crisis behind all the others. From the past we have inherited the idea that the basic intellectual aim of inquiry ought to be to acquire knowledge. First, knowledge is to be acquired; then, secondarily, it can be applied to help solve social problems. But this is dangerously and damagingly irrational, and it is this irrationality that is, in part, responsible for the genesis of our current global problems, and our current incapacity to solve them. As a matter of supreme urgency, we need to transform academia so that it becomes rationally devoted to helping humanity learn how to make progress towards as good and wise a world as possible. This would involve putting problems of living - including global problems - at the heart of academia, problems of knowledge and technological know-how emerging out of, and feeding back into, the central task to help people tackle problems of living in increasingly cooperatively rational ways. Almost every department and aspect of academia needs to change. We need a new kind of academic inquiry devoted, not just to knowledge, but rather to wisdom - wisdom being the capacity to realize what is of value in life for oneself and others, wisdom including knowledge and technological know-how, but much else besides. So, this is what these essays seek to provoke: a concerted effort to transform our institutions of learning so that they become rationally and effectively devoted to helping us learn how to create a wiser world. With these essays before me, I can see that there is one crucial element of learning about which they say nothing - or nothing explicit. The vital role of play in learning. All mammals - or at any rate almost all mammals - learn by means of play. Cats, tigers, foxes and other predators learn to hunt by means of endless mock fights when kittens and cubs. Deer, sheep and antelope learn to escape by means of playful leaps and bounds when young. We are mammals too. Almost certainly, we learnt how to be adult human beings by means of play during the millions of years we evolved into homo sapiens living in hunting and gathering tribes. Children today, out of school, learn by means of play. Learning by means of play is almost certainly fundamental to our makeup. Education needs to exploit it. Schools and universities need to become places of play. Successful problem solving is often likely to be playful in character. The youthful Einstein called doing physics "getting up to mischief". But our most serious problems of living are so grim, so imbued with suffering, wasted lives and unnecessary death that the idea of approaching them in a playful spirit seems sacrilegious. We need to keep alive tackling of intellectual problems so that playful capacities can be exercised - if for no other reason (and other reasons there are, of course, aplenty). There are two really worthy impulses behind all rational inquiry: delight and compassion. (shrink)
In occasione del bimillenario della morte del poeta latino Ovidio, l’articolo analizza l’influenza del poema delle Metamorfosi come fonte primaria di Giordano Bruno. L’esposizione della dottrina pitagorica, esposta nel libro XV del poema, si adatta perfettamente all’ontologia del Nolano e alla sua fede nella metempsicosi. In particolare il mito di Diana e Atteone viene adottato dal filosofo, nel De gl’Heroici furori, come ideale rappresentazione della propria esperienza conoscitiva. La tormentosa vicenda del cacciatore Atteone, tramutato in cervo per aver sorpreso la (...) Diana nuda, simboleggia in Bruno il passaggio dall’amore profano a quello divino. -/- On the occasion of the two thousandth anniversary of the death of the Latin poet Ovid, the article analyzes the influence of the poem of the Metamorphoses as a primary source of Giordano Bruno. The exposition of the Pythagorean doctrine, contained in the XV book of the poem, fits perfectly with the ontology of the Nolan and his faith in metempsychosis. In particular, the myth of Diana and Actaeon is adopted by the philosopher, in De gl'Heroici furori, as an ideal representation of his own cognitive experience. The tormenting story of the hunter Atteone, turned into a deer for having surprised the “naked Diana”, symbolizes in Bruno the passage from the profane love to the divine one. (shrink)
In this essay, I use encounters with the white-tailed deer of Fire Island to explore the “call of the wild”—the attraction to value that exists in a natural world outside of human control. Value exists in nature to the extent that it avoids modification by human technology. Technology “fixes” the natural world by improving it for human use or by restoring degraded ecosystems. Technology creates a “new world,” an artifactual reality that is far removed from the “wildness” of nature. (...) The technological “fix” of nature thus raises a moral issue: how is an artifact morally different from a natural and wild entity? Artifacts are human instruments; their value lies in their ability to meet human needs. Natural entities have no intrinsic functions; they were not created for any instrumental purpose. To attempt to manage natural entities is to deny their inherent autonomy: a form of domination. The moral claim of the wilderness is thus a claim against human technological domination. We have an obligation to struggle against this domination by preserving as much of the natural world as possible. (shrink)
Nonhuman animals play various roles in environmental ethics, often as charismatic symbols of wilderness or active participants in the natural dramas we seek to preserve. Sometimes, however, nonhuman animals do not fit into—and may even threaten—the “nature” that we value. There are two especially problematic animals: white-tailed deer and feral cats. Together, these creatures shine light on a number of important issues in environmental ethics, including the tensions between animal welfare and environmentalism, the ways human interests and categories pervade (...) even ecocentric perspectives, and the complex place of science in environmental ethics and advocacy. Thinking through the issues raised by debates about deer and cats can contribute to a more adequate treatment of nonhuman animals in environmental thought and advocacy. (shrink)
In their publications during the 1820s, Jakob Steiner and Julius Plücker frequently derived the same results while claiming different methods. This paper focuses on two such results in order to compare their approaches to constructing figures, calculating with symbols, and representing geometric magnitudes. Underlying the repetitive display of similar problems and theorems, Steiner and Plücker redefined synthetic and analytic methods in distinctly personal practices.
In a well-cited book chapter, ecologist Jared Diamond characterizes three main types of experiment performed in community ecology: laboratory experiment, field experiment, and natural experiment. Diamond argues that each form of experiment has strengths and weaknesses, with respect to, for example, realism or the ability to follow a causal trajectory. But does Diamond’s typology exhaust the available kinds of cause-finding practices? Some social scientists have characterized something they call “causal process tracing.” Is this a fourth type of experiment or something (...) else? I examine Diamond’s typology and causal process tracing in the context of a case study concerning the dynamics of wolf and deer populations on the Kaibab Plateau in the 1920s, a case that has been used as a canonical example of a trophic cascade by ecologists but which has also been subject to controversy. I argue that ecologists have profitably deployed causal process tracing together with other types of experiment to help settle questions of causality in this case. It remains to be seen how widespread the use of causal process tracing outside of the social sciences is (or could be), but there are some potentially promising applications, particularly with respect to questions about specific causal sequences. (shrink)