How are social relations appearing in computers? How are social relations realised in a different kind of medium, in the hardware and software of computers? How are the organising principles of computer building related to those of the life-worlds in a social system? Following a partly social constructivist and partly hermeneutic line a more general answer will be presented. The basic conclusion of this approach is simple: computers are constructed under the influence of the ideas of modernity and represent its (...) structure, interests and values, in contrast to computer networks, which embody the ideas of postmodernity. (shrink)
Le philosophe Jean Baudrillard (1929-2007) a-t-il vraiment existé? Que reste-t-il de lui? "Une élégance certaine de la pensée", affirme l'un de ses meilleurs interprètes, François L'Yvonnet. Le philosophe de La Société de consommation, des Stratégies fatales et des Cool Memories s'attachait à l'idée du fragment comme mode de pensée : car dans le détail, tout est parfait, c'est dans sa reproduction que tout se complique. François L'Yvonnet explore cinq fragments de la philosophie de Jean Baudrillard et de sa biographie pour (...) mieux saisir l'éclat et la jubilation d'une pensée toujours vivante et contemporaine. (shrink)
This work is intended as an introduction to the study of Soviet psy chology. In it we have tried to present the main lines of Soviet psycho logical theory, in particular, the philosophical principles on which that theory is founded. There are surprisingly few books in English on Soviet psychology, or, indeed, in any Western European language. The works that exist usually take the form of symposia or are collections of articles translated from Soviet periodicals. The most important of these (...) are Psychology in the Soviet Union (ed. by Brian Simon), Recent Soviet Psychology (ed. by Neil O'Connor) and Soviet Psychology, A Symposium (ed. by Ralf Winn). Raymond Bauer has also edited an interesting symposium entitled Some Views on Soviet Psychology. Only two systematic studies of Soviet psychology have been published to date: Joseph Wortis' Soviet Psychiatry and Raymond Bauer's The New Man in Soviet Psychology. Both are valuable introductions to Soviet psychology; Bauer's book, in particular, gives a good account of the debates on psychological theory in the Soviet Union in the nineteen twenties and -thirties. Both, however, are somewhat out of date. There are also a number of interesting articles written by Ivan D. London and Gregory Razran, which give general surveys of particular periods or aspects of Soviet psychology. These have been listed in the bibliography. (shrink)
The interpretations of sustainability are varied. In most cases, the focus is on reinterpretations and transformations of human attitudes towards the natural environment and certain (unacceptable) social practices and conditions, i.e. the task would be to shape these spheres of human existence in the interests of sustainability. However, the creation and widespread use of the Internet is fundamentally changing human life that is no longer confined to the natural and social spheres. Web life, as a third sphere of human existence (...) created by the universal use of the Internet, is also a component of human condition, both in itself and through its interactions with the natural and social spheres. It is essential to take this into account: the sustainability of these “three spheres” should be addressed together. The continuous construction of web life can be decisive for the sustainability of the whole human existence. (shrink)
Based on a brief overview of the history of ontology and on some philosophical problems of virtual reality, a new approach to virtuality is proposed. To characterize the representational technologies in the Internet age, I suggest that Aristotle’s dualistic ontological system be complemented with a third form of being: virtuality. In the virtual form of being actuality and potentiality are inseparably intertwined. Virtuality is potentiality considered together with its actualization. In this view, virtuality is reality with a measure, a reality (...) which has no absolute character, but which has a relative nature. This situation can remind us the emergence of probability in the 17th century: then the concept of certainty, now the concept of reality is reconsidered and relativized. Currently, in the descriptions of the world created by representational technologies, there are two coherent worldviews with different ontologies: the world is inhabited by actual and potential beings—or all the beings in the world are virtual. (shrink)
The structure of Chiodi's book is based on Vuillemin's important hermeneutical thesis that existentialism is one more step in the program of the romantics to give an absolute foundation to finite reality through the establishment of necessary relations between subjectivity and being. These relations, once revealed, would dispel the facticity and contingency in which the natural world is enshrouded. The role of Heidegger in this tradition involves one further dialectical twist, since Heidegger centers all Western Philosophy, including his own, around (...) the problem of ground in the manner proposed by the romantics. The suggested dialectical twist is then Heidegger's Kehre, a step beyond the radical contingency of Dasein in Sein und Zeit. Indeed, this contingency, once reached, shows unequivocally the failure of the romantic program. The ground cannot be ontologically connected with any object nor with the subject; it is rather the necessary history of the ground that determines all categorial differentiations in the world, including the reflective differentiation of subject-objects. Thus it becomes important to distinguish Heidegger from Hegel since, in both, history and necessity are characteristics of the ground. Chiodi gets to the bottom of this matter by pointing to the transfer of negativity from the process of history to the end of history. For Heidegger what is necessary is the repeated withdrawal of the ground so that it may never be confused with that which is known in any revelation or through all of them. This move, though clear, would still leave a fundamental ambiguity in the later philosophy of Heidegger: language, which acts as messenger from the ground to the world, must reflect the superabundance of Being from the standpoint of the ground while it only reflects possibilities of being from the standpoint of the world. This is an ambiguity that Heidegger would want to maintain. Chiodi's interpretation of Heidegger as a neo-platonist totally destroys this ambiguity and with it the very delicate balance created by Heidegger between infinite meaning and the ability of finite words to dwell upon it.--A. de L. M. (shrink)
G. Deledalle is the author of a Histoire de la philosophie américaine, and of some excellent studies on Dewey, such as La pédagogie de Dewey, philosophie de la continuité, and "Durkheim et Dewey". These are all works that deserve full attention by students of the Golden Age of American philosophy. For a European, Deledalle has an unusual capacity to detect the vitality and freshness, but also the depth, of the growth of higher education in the U.S. in the first half (...) of this century. At the heart of this growth were philosophical ideas, and in particular those of Dewey. Philosophy did not have then dictatorial or competitive designs regarding education, the social and political sciences, psychology, or the natural sciences. It freely mingled with them, not just imparting methodological or epistemological rigor but also contributing some insights and giving the hypotheses and conclusions in these fields the character of "experiences." Experience is the guiding theme of this rich and complicated work, covering a multitude of subjects and positions. The treatment is divided into six parts dealing respectively with Dewey's leanings toward unitary experience, organic experience, dynamic experience, functional experience, instrumental experience, and transactional experience. In the study of the intellectual of Dewey's life practically all of his production is critically examined by Deledalle: a monumental task in itself, made possible by the critical bibliography of Milton Hasley Thomas. There is enough early biographical detail to make this work an effective and affectionate intellectual portrait. The best pages of this work are devoted to a thorough explication and comparative study of Dewey's final synthesis of experience. There are very helpful comparative references to Marx, Freud, Bergson, and Heidegger, and also indispensable parallels and contrasts with Peirce, James, and Whitehead. This is not a modest contribution from a regional point of view: Deledalle is, perhaps more than anybody else, aware of an ongoing international dialogue on Dewey, a dialogue that is preserving experience as a problem-complex at the front line of contemporary reflection.--A. de L. M. (shrink)
Les philosophies et les sciences humaines sont des fabriques de l'homme, selon le double sens du génitif. Elles sont fabriquées par des hommes, mais elles fabriquent aussi l'homme, en tant qu'elles véhiculent une représentation de ce qui le constitue et (ou) du rapport qu'il entretient avec ce qui n'est pas lui (nature, société). La construction d'un discours impose en effet une grille de lecture, un découpage et une articulation du réel. Aussi, en dépit de l'effort que l'on rencontre parfois pour (...) élaborer des discours sans présupposé ontologique sur la nature humaine, une prise de position au sujet de l'homme semble en fait inévitable. Prendre par exemple pour point de vue celui de l'individu ou, au contraire, celui du tout social n'est pas neutre mais il s'agit déjà d'une façon de régler le rapport de l'un à l'autre. Et partir d'un homme ramené au statut d'agent rationnel visant à maximiser son profit est un choix massif qu'il convient d'analyser. Mais, s'il y a toujours, en philosophie morale et politique, ou dans les sciences humaines, des présupposés anthropologiques, on ne trouve pas forcément dans, ou à l'arrière-plan de tout discours sur les hommes, l'admission d'une essence générique de l'homme; autrement dit, le présupposé peut être aussi de contestation. Quoi qu'il en soit, il faut mettre en évidence un personnage abstrait, parfois assumé, parfois caché et parfois contesté donc, mais toujours là à sa façon, à défaut d'être à chaque fois opératoire. (shrink)
I explore some of the ways that assumptions about the nature of substance shape metaphysical debates about the structure of Reality. Assumptions about the priority of substance play a role in an argument for monism, are embedded in certain pluralist metaphysical treatments of laws of nature, and are central to discussions of substantivalism and relationalism. I will then argue that we should reject such assumptions and collapse the categorical distinction between substance and property.
En une petite centaine de pages, l'auteur éclaire l'œuvre de Simone Weil avec des facettes emblématiques de sa biographie : une cartographie des lieux et des influences, la question du déracinement, son rapport à la judaïté.
Kasm does not offer any concept of proof which is regulative for all metaphysics, for he is convinced that each metaphysical approach requires its own proper logic and methodology. Within this pluralistic framework he seeks to discern the structure of formal truth as expressed in the concept of proof inherent in various metaphysical approaches.--L. S. F.
May discovered Diderot's copiously annotated copy of this anti-materialist tract by Hemsterhuis, known to many contemporaries as "the Dutch Plato"; this edition contains May's interesting introduction, a facsimile of the original text, and a transcription of all of Diderot's comments. The comments bear on infelicities of style as well as of thought, though the latter preponderate: the Lettre is not, alas, the product of a first-rate philosophical intellect. Diderot's strong objections to Hemsterhuis' crude theory of a moral organ can be (...) taken as complementing his Refutation of Helvetius, which dates from the same period.—W. L. M. (shrink)
Admitting to some departure from the Aristotelian classification, Jolivet divides human activities into three sorts: labor, play, and contemplation. He warns against the naturalizing effect of the Marxist notion of labor, defends play as the essentially superfluous, and argues for including art in his third category. A proper conception of human wisdom involves all three activities, although the speculative remains the highest, and the love of God is wisdom's fullest perfection. Based on a lecture series, the book is a clear, (...) rather non-technical, and contemporary re-working of some venerable ideas.--W. L. M. (shrink)