This book is a collection of secondary essays on America's most important philosophic thinkers—statesmen, judges, writers, educators, and activists—from the colonial period to the present. Each essay is a comprehensive introduction to the thought of a noted American on the fundamental meaning of the American regime.
I discuss the exact meaning of the thesis according to which the object of scientific knowledge is necessary. The thesis is expressed by Aristotle in the Posterior Analytics, in his definition of scientific knowledge. The traditional interpretation understands this definition as depending on two parallel and independent requirements, the causality requirement and the necessity requirement. Against this interpretation, I try to show, through the examination of several passages that refer to the definition of scientific knowledge, that the necessity requirement specifies (...) more exactly the causality requirement: what cannot be otherwise is the explanatory relation between the explanandum and the cause by which it is what it is. (shrink)
La idea de utopía tiene una larga historia en América y un vasto conjunto de significados. En este trabajo se interpreta a las utopías a partir de un enfoque utopológico basado en las reflexiones principalmente de M. R. Ramírez Fierro, A. A. Roig, H. Cerutti Guldberg y E. Fernández Nadal. Desde ese marco teórico se analiza una utopía concreta contemporánea de la Patagonia argentina. Se trata del barrio intercultural proyectado en San Martín de los Andes por la comunidad mapuche “Curruhuinca” (...) y la Asociación Vecinos Sin Techo de esa ciudad. Aquí, describo el carácter utópico de dicho proyecto tomando como categorías de análisis los conceptos de función y tensión utópicas en relación a los distintos aspectos que ponen en juego la interculturalidad y la emergencia de nuevas subjetividades. The idea of utopia has a long history in America and a vast array of meanings. This paper interprets utopias from a utopological approach primarily based on the reflections of M. R. Ramirez Fierro, A. A. Roig, H. Cerutti Guldberg and E. Fernández Nadal. From this theoretical framework a contemporary concrete utopia of Argentine Patagonia is analyzed. It is an intercultural neighborhood in San Martin de los Andes projected by the Mapuche community “Curruhuinca” and the Homeless Neighbors Association of that city. Here, I describe the utopian character of the project taking the concepts of function and utopian tension as categories of analysis in relation to the different aspects that involve interculturality and the emergence of new subjectivities. (shrink)
The ability to sustain antibiotic efficacy is directly affected by incentive models aiming to stimulate antibiotic research and development. This paper analyzes the extent to which the models proposed by the Innovative Medicine Initiative-funded research project DRIVE-AB can be expected to support sustainable use, drawing on basic economic theory and the incentives that derive from it. It then discusses the use of minimal safeguards that will be needed to support sustainable use where industry incentives have not been re-aligned with those (...) of public health. (shrink)
Translation of Aristotle's Metaphysics IV and VI, with notes. The translation is preliminary and intended as a provisional teaching tool to be also used in seminars and discussions with peers in order to reach a more elaborated version.
Este livro é um 'ancestral' em pré-print do meu livro de 2006, Introdução à Teoria da Predicação em Aristóteles (ISBN 978-85-268-0716-1), publicado pela Editora da Unicamp (ver https://www.academia.edu/6912408/Introdu%C3%A7%C3%A3o_%C3%A0_teoria_da_predica%C3%A7%C3%A3o_em_Arist %C3%B3teles). O ancestral foi felizmente muito citado, mesmo depois da aparição do livro definitivo em 2006. -/- This is an ancestor (in pré-print) of my 2006 Book, 'Introdução à Teoria da Predicação em Aristóteles' (ISBN 978-85-268-0716-1), published by Editora da Unicamp (see https://www.academia.edu/6912408/Introdu%C3%A7%C3%A3o_%C3%A0_teoria_da_predica%C3%A7%C3%A3o_em_Arist %C3%B3teles). The ancestor was cited by many, even after the definitive book (...) appeared in 2006. (shrink)
This book discusses Aristotle’s notions of essence and substance as they are developed in Metaphysics ZH. I examine Aristotle's argument at length and defends an unorthodox interpretation according to which his motivation is to provide an answer against a conflation between criteria for existential priority (delivering substances as primary beings) and criteria for explanatory priority (delivering essences as primary principles).
This chapter argues in favour of three interrelated points. First, I argue that demonstration (as expression of scientific knowledge) is fundamentally defined as knowledge of the appropriate cause for a given explanandum: to have scientific knowledge of the explanandum is to explain it through its fully appropriate cause. Secondly, I stress that Aristotle’s notion of cause has a “triadic” structure, which fundamentally depends on the predicative formulation (or “regimentation”) of the explanandum. Thirdly, I argue that what has motivated Aristotle to (...) choose the syllogism as a demonstrative tool was precisely the fact that syllogisms are apt to express causal relations in their triadic structure. Instead of complaining against Aristotle’s preference for the syllogisms as demonstrative tools, I argue that Aristotle was fully aware of the advantages of regimenting the explanandum into a predication. One of these advantages is to abandon a purely extensional standpoint and to highlight the importance of the notion of relevancy in explanation. (shrink)
This paper examines Aristotle’s notion of priority with the specific aim of capturing the sort of priority that characterizes the primacy of substances in his metaphysics. I reject the traditional interpretation, which understands the ontological priority of substances in terms of independent existence. But there are rather two sorts of priority: the ontological priority of substances should be understood in terms of completeness, whereas the ontological priority of “substances-of-something” (the essences) is a causal-explanatory priority. Furthermore, an important piece of Aristotle’s (...) argument against Platonism is that these two sorts of priority – namely, the completeness priority and the causal-explanatory priority – should be kept distinct. (shrink)
This paper examines some difficulties in Aristotle’s argument in Metaphysics VII 3 and proposes a point of view in which there is no serious conflict between ousia taken as hypokeimenon and ousia taken as eidos.
This paper explores some aspects of Aristotle’s notion of subject for predications. I examine the argument Aristotle develops in Posterior Analytics I.22, 83a1-14. I argue that the notion advanced by Aristotle in that argument is different from the one found in his Categories, although they are far from being incompatible with each other. I also add some philological considerations to justify the Portuguese translation of “hypokeimenon” as “algo subjacente” (“underlying thing”) instead of “sujeito” (“subject”).
Coder’s argument is very similar to Lewis’ one: he maintains that some human beings are not able to follow Gödel’s theorem, so Lucas’ argument cannot show that their minds are not machines. The answer of Lucas is that one proposed against Lewis’ criticism, that is that Mechanism makes a universal claim and so a single counter-example – a single mind producing a singe truth not recognizable by any machine – is a disproof for it.
Translation of Aristotle’s Metaphysics IX and X (Theta & Iota) into Portuguese, with a few notes, experimental glossary and introduction. The translation, which was made at 2004, is preliminary and its publication was intended to provide a didactic tool for courses as well as a provisional resource in research seminars. It needs some revision. I am currently working (slowly...) on the revision of the translation and a new revised one will surely appear at some point.
I argue that Aristotle’s teleology in natural science (more specifically, in biology) is not incompatible with his admissions of the “brute necessity” of the movements of matter. Aristotle thinks that the brute necessity emerging from the movements of matter is not sufficient to explain why living beings are what they are and behave the way they behave. Nevertheless, Aristotle takes this brute necessity to be a sine qua non condition in biological explanations. The full explanation of the features of living (...) beings requires the hylomorphic model, in which the brute necessity belonging to the matter is subordinated to the teleological causality of the form. The model for which I argue is pretty much Balme’s “cybernetic”. However, I explore some aspects of Aristotle’s texts that have not received much attention in the recent literature. (shrink)
Translation of Aristotle's Metaphysics I-III into Portuguese, with a few notes and introduction. The translation, which was made at 2007, is preliminary and its publication was intended to provide a didactic tool for courses as well as a provisional resource in research seminars. It needs some revision. I am currently working (slowly...) on the revision of the translation and a new revised one will surely appear at some point.
My object is Aristotle's discussion of principle of non-contradiction in the first stretch of Metaphysics IV.4. My main focus rests on the connections between Aristotle's discussion of the principle and some key notions of his (explicit or implied) semantics.
I discuss three kinds of relationship between ends and means (or "things that promote ends") in the Aristotelian ethical theory, in order to clarify how moral virtues and phronesis are related both in adopting ends and in determining means for virtuous actions. Phronesis seems to be mainly charged with determining means for an end given by the moral virtues, but it must involve some conception of ends too. Phronesis cannot be parasitic on moral virtue concerning the conception of ends, for (...) otherwise it will lack intrinsic moral value. I argue that the intrinsic moral value of phronesis can be better understood through a certain kind of relation between means and ends that has not received much attention. (shrink)
This chapter discusses the first part of Aristotle's Posterior Analytics A-33, 88b30-89a10. I claim that Aristotle is not concerned with an epistemological distinction between knowledge and belief in general. He is rather making a contrast between scientific knowledge (which is equivalent to explanation by the primarily appropriate cause) and some explanatory beliefs that falls short of capturing the primarily appropriate cause.
I discuss the issue whether Aristotle's philosophy of science allows the use of mathematical premises or mathematical tools in general for explanaing phenomena in the natural sciences. I thereby discuss the concept of "metabasis eis allo genos" as it appears in Posterior Analytics I.7.
This article examines three passages of De caelo in order to discuss Aristotle’s epistemological attitude towards the theories advanced by him and towards the possibility of progress in the scientific research of the celestial world. I argue that, although the possibility of progress in scientific investigation is not central in Aristotle’s reflections, progress is not ruled out either as impossible or as undesirable.
This paper is my first effort to revaluate the disagreement between two central texts for Aristotle's the conception of ousia: Categories and Metaphysics VII. Scholars have taken chapter Zeta-3 as a payment of the debt with the Categories, so that the hylomorphic analysis of the composite substance would require a revision of the subject-criterion, now improved by the addition of the “a this” and “separate” criterion. This paper, however, downgrades the importance of the Categories for understanding Aristotle's Metaphysics Z. The (...) two texts are dealing with different arguments and are not incompatible with one another. I myself consider this paper somehow obsolete, for I have returned to the same subject more than once: in my 2003 paper on Z-3 and, most importantly, on my Book 'As Noções Aristotélicas de Substância e Essência' (2008). (shrink)
RESUMO Em nosso artigo, faremos uma breve exposição sobre o capítulo XXIV dos Mūlamadhyamakakārikā, de Nāgārjuna, e buscaremos oferecer uma defesa de nossa própria interpretação de sua filosofia, comparando-a com as interpretações semântica e pedagógica propostas, respectivamente, por Garfield e Siderits, por um lado, e Ferraro, por outro. Na nossa exposição, discutiremos a relação entre vazio, cooriginação dependente e verdade, apontando a íntima ligação entre esses termos no interior da filosofia de Nāgārjuna e buscando indicar em que sentido as quatro (...) nobres verdades do budismo, de acordo com o filósofo, só podem ser verdadeiras se elas forem vazias. A partir dessa análise, esperamos poder estabelecer uma relação entre verdade convencional e verdade suprema, tal como abordada nesse capítulo, segundo a qual tanto a verdade convencional quanto a suprema são vazias, sendo que a diferença entre ambas consistiria em que a primeira diz respeito à existência convencional das coisas, enquanto a segunda diz respeito à ausência de essência delas. Nesse sentido, tratar-se-á de analisar como seria possível, para Nāgārjuna, uma compreensão acerca da verdade que nos parece tão contraintuitiva, a saber, a de que a verdade só é possível se for relativa. Esperamos, assim, fazer uma pequena contribuição para a discussão de alguns dos conceitos mais relevantes do pensamento desse importante filósofo budista, sobretudo no que diz respeito à relação da verdade suprema com o vazio. ABSTRACT In our article, we shall make a brief exposition of the chapter XXIV of Nāgārjuna's Mūlamadhyamakakārikā, and we shall attempt to offer a defense of our own interpretation of his philosophy, comparing it to the semantic and pedagogic interpretations proposed, respectively, by Garfield and Siderits, on the one hand, and Ferraro, on the other. In our exposition, we shall discuss the relationship between emptiness, dependent co-origination and truth, pointing to the intimate connection between those terms within Nāgārjuna's philosophy and attempting to indicate in what sense the four noble truths of Buddhism, according to the philosopher, can only be true if they are empty. Through this analysis, we hope to be able to establish a relation between conventional truth and ultimate truth according to which both conventional and ultimate truth are empty, distinguishing themselves only insofar as the first one concerns the conventional existence of things, while the second one concerns the absence of essence of the very same things. With this in mind, we shall analyze how could it be possible, for Nāgārjuna, to have a comprehension on truth that seems to be so counter-intuitive, to wit, that truth is only possible if it's relative. We hope thus to make a small contribution to the discussion of some of the most important concepts of this important Buddhist philosopher, especially with regard to the relation between ultimate truth and emptiness. (shrink)
Este artigo é um 'ancestral' de vários argumentos que desenvolvi depois em múltiplos outros artigos. Defendo que a teoria da ciência dos Segundos Analíticos não é incompatível com as ciências naturais tais como desenvolvidos nos tratados científicos de Aristóteles.
El artículo plantea algunas condiciones que permitan superar las dos posiciones en las que parece alternativamente preso el debate actual sobre la inmigración: la visión instrumental, torpemente pragmática, y la "humanitaria", anclada en la conmiseración o la piedad. Para alcanzar la dimensión política es preciso superar un análisis de los flujos migratorios erróneo, el que esta en la base de ambas posiciones. Y si se supera esa visión, se superaran los actuales instrumentos jurídicos de política de inmigración, que no son (...) acordes con el reconocimiento pleno y la garantía de los derechos humanos fundamentales, pero tampoco con el necesario reconocimiento de la condición de sujeto del espacio publico a los inmigrantes que residen establemente, es decir, con las exigencias de una democracia plural e inclusiva, que es el reto, pero también la oportunidad que nos ofrece otro análisis de la inmigración, que recupere la dimensión política profunda de este fenómeno, en el orden interno y en el internacional. (shrink)
In this article, Lucas maintains the falseness of Mechanism - the attempt to explain minds as machines - by means of Incompleteness Theorem of Gödel. Gödel’s theorem shows that in any system consistent and adequate for simple arithmetic there are formulae which cannot be proved in the system but that human minds can recognize as true; Lucas points out in his turn that Gödel’s theorem applies to machines because a machine is the concrete instantiation of a formal system: (...) therefore, for every machine consistent and able of doing simple arithmetic, there is a formula that it can’t produce as true but that we can see to be true, and so human minds and machines have to be different. Lucas considers as well in this article some possible objections to his argument: for any Gödelian formula we could, for instance, construct a machine able to produce it or we could put the Gödelian formulae that we had proved as axioms of a further machine. However - as Lucas underlines - for every of such machines we could again formulate another Gödelian formula, the Gödelian formula of these machines, that they are not able to proof but that we can recognize as true. More general arguments, such as the possibility to escape Gödelian argument by suggesting that Gödel’s theorem applies to consistent systems while we could be inconsistent ones, are moreover refuted by Lucas by maintaining that our inconsistency corresponds to occasional malfunctioning of a machine and not to his normal inconsistency; indeed, a inconsistent machine is characterized by producing any statement, on the contrary human being are selective and not disposed to assert anything. (shrink)
This paper examines what Aristotle could have meant in Nicomachean Ethics 1106b 14-16, when he says that moral virtue is more exact than craft. Aristotle’s meaning cannot be that moral knowledge is more exact than technical knowledge. Neither the practical knowledge that an agent has about the precepts guiding his actions nor the philosophical knowledge framed in a moral theory could be described as “more exact than craft- knowledge”. My point is that Aristotle’s meaning is better understood if he is (...) taken to be talking about the requirements for doing virtuously a virtuous action. Being successful at doing a virtuous action is “more exact” than being successful at making a good craft-product in the sense that more criteria for successfulness are required. (shrink)
I examine Aristotle’s definition of scientific knowledge in Posterior Analytics 71b 9-12 and try to understand how it relates to the sophistical way of knowing and to "kata sumbebekos knowledge". I claim that scientific knowledge of p requires knowing p by its appropriate cause, and that this appropriate cause is a universal (katholou) in the restricted sense Aristotle proposes in 73b 26-27 ff., i.e., an attribute coextensive with the subject (an extensional feature) and predicated of the subject in itself (an (...) intensional feature). Kata sumbebekos knowledge, on the other hand, can occur even when the predicate of a conclusion is coextensive with its subject and is proved by a convertible meson which is not the most appropriate from an explanatory standpoint. (shrink)
Buscamos, primeiramente, abordar o conceito de desenvolvimento na colonialidade, com ênfase nas diversas formas de colonialidade direcionadas à destruição da natureza e de modos de vida não dualistas. A partir disso, resgatamos a noção de desenho em Arturo Escobar que compara ontologia relacional e dualista, relacionando esses conceitos ao desenvolvimento na colonialidade, à destruição da natureza e ao racismo ambiental institucional. Através da revisão bibliográfica, ressaltamos a importância dos estudos e práticas decoloniais e do desenho autônomo para a descolonização da (...) natureza e, de modo mais geral, dos espaços subalternizados pela colonialidade, em suas mais diversas formas. (shrink)
In this paper Lucas comes back to Gödelian argument against Mecanism to clarify some points. First of all, he explains his use of Gödel’s theorem instead of Turing’s theorem, showing how Gödel’ theorem, but not Turing’s theorem, raises questions concerning truth and reasoning that bear on the nature of mind and how Turing’s theorem suggests that there is something that cannot be done by any computers but not that it can be done by human minds. He considers moreover how (...) Gödel’s theorem can be interpreted as a sophisticated form of the Cretan paradox, posed by Epimenides, able to escape the viciously self-referential nature of the Cretan paradox, and how it can be used against Mechanism as a schema of disproof. Finally, Lucas suggests some answers to the most recurrent criticisms against his argument: criticisms about the implicit idealisation in the way he set up the context between mind and machine; questions concerning modality and finitude, issues of transfinite arithmetic; questions concerning the need of formalizing rational inference and some questions about consistency. (shrink)
I discuss some of Aristotle’s scattered remarks from which one can construct his conception of matter. Aristotle seems to oscillate between two conceptions: one in which matter is the principle of becoming, another in which matter is a constituent element with no contribution for processes of becoming. Sometimes Aristotle takes matter as a thing independent in itself, and the correlated form is a feature that does not contribute to the matter’s essence, nor is a necessary condition for its existence. But (...) sometimes Aristotle takes matter as a constituent element the existence of which depends on the whole thing it is the matter of. These different approaches to matter seem to suggest an inconsistent theory of matter. However, I argue that, quite to the contrary, Aristotle has a consistent theory about matter. One of my main points is to distinguish contexts in which Aristotle is indeed talking about matter in general from contexts in which he uses the term “matter” to refer to a given thing that was previously taken as matter and to talk about that thing not qua matter, but qua the thing it is. (shrink)