In protreptic passages in three Aristotelian texts, there is a close relationship betweenthe use of the language of thaumaston and that of timion. These texts exhibit a progressive opening of Aristotle’s students to further horizons of philosophical awareness, within which is embedded a global transformation of the meanings of thaumaston. They mark the itinerary of a spiritual formation in which a new relationship through language to phenomena and to others liberates the student from a psychology of emulation into a (...) discipline of radically free inquiry. (shrink)
Ontology has been proposed as a solution to the 'Tower of Babel' problem that threatens the semantic interoperability of information systems constructed independently for the same domain. In information systems research and applications, ontologies are often implemented by formalizing the meanings of words from natural languages. However, words in different natural languages sometimes subdivide the same domain of reality in terms of different conceptual categories. If the words and their associated concepts in two natural languages, or even in two terminological (...) traditions within the same language, do not have common referents in the real world, an ontology based on word meanings will inherit the 'Tower of Babel' problem from the languages involved, rather than solve it. In this paper we present evidence from a preliminary comparison of landscape terms in English with those in the Yindjibarndi language of northwestern Australia demonstrating that this problem is not just hypothetical. Some possible solutions are suggested. (shrink)
Spatial asymmetries are an intriguing feature of directed attention. Recent observations indicate an influence of temperament upon the direction of these asymmetries. It is unknown whether this influence generalises to visual orienting behaviour. The aim of the current study was therefore to explore the relationship between temperament and measures of spatial orienting as a function of target hemifield. An exogenous cueing task was administered to 92 healthy participants. Temperament was assessed using Carver and White's (1994) Behavioural Inhibition System and Behavioural (...) Activation System (BIS/BAS) scales. Individuals with high sensitivity to punishment and low sensitivity to reward showed a leftward asymmetry of directed attention when there was no informative spatial cue provided. This asymmetry was not present when targets were preceded by spatial cues that were either valid or invalid. The findings support the notion that individual variations in temperament influence spatial asymmetries in visual orienting, but only when lateral targets are preceded by a non-directional (neutral) cue. The results are discussed in terms of hemispheric asymmetries and dopamine activity. (shrink)
Plutarch’s epistolary essay, That a Philosopher ought to Converse especially swith Men in Power, has been neglected because not recognized for what it is: an attempt to persuade an addressee attached to Epicurean principles that his attraction to political friendship should be honoured rather than eradicated. Rather than attack Epicureanism, Plutarch attempts to expand the horizons of a hedonic and utilitarian ethics so as to include noble benefaction on a political scale. This requires him to undermine the Epicurean insistence on (...) restricting friendship to private like-minded circles, and to expand its hedonism into a political utilitarianism. Unlike Cicero’s De Finibus, Plutarch’s letter offers an indirect critique, and preserves elements of Epicurean ethics suitable to the moderating influence a friend and advisor can exert on the statesman’s eros. (shrink)
This study takes as its point of departure a question posed by Francis Hutcheson in An Inquiry into the Original of Our Ideas of Beauty and Virtue, an important text of the Scottish Enlightenment. Hutcheson asked: “Whence arises this Love of Esteem, or Benevolence, to good Men, or to Mankind in general, if not from some nice Views of Self-Interest?”. As will be well known to readers of this journal, Hutcheson in his answer pointed to the workings of a “moral (...) sense,” arguing: “The Universality of this moral Sense, and that it is antecedent to Instruction, may appear from observing the Sentiments of Children, upon hearing the Storys with which they are commonly entertain’d as soon as they understand Language. They always passionately interest themselves on that side where Kindness and Humanity are found; and detest the Cruel, the Covetous, the Selfish, or the Treacherous. How strongly do we see their Passions of Joy, Sorrow, Love, and Indignation, mov’d by these moral Representations, even tho there has been no pains taken to give them Ideas of a Deity, of Laws, of a future State, or of the more intricate Tendency of the universal Good to that of each Individual!”. (shrink)
Plutarch's epistolary essay, That a Philosopher ought to Converse especially with Men in Power, has been neglected because not recognized for what it is: an attempt to persuade an addressee attached to Epicurean principles that his attraction to political friendship should be honoured rather than eradicated. Rather than attack Epicureanism, Plutarch attempts to expand the horizons of a hedonic and utilitarian ethics so as to include noble benefaction on a political scale. This requires him to undermine the Epicurean insistence on (...) restricting friendship to private like-minded circles, and to expand its hedonism into a political utilitarianism. Unlike Cicero's De Finibus , Plutarch's letter offers an indirect critique, and preserves elements of Epicurean ethics suitable to the moderating influence a friend and advisor can exert on the statesman's eros. (shrink)
Pierre Hadot's analysis of the role of ancient philosophical discourse in the formation of a philosophical self allows us to extend to the interpretation of Aristotle the counter-Heideggerian Platonic hermeneutics of Gadamer, Strauss and Klein. Central to Plato's and Aristotle's rhetorical/pedagogical strategy is the development of the language of theoria to formulate the goal of philosophical formation. ;Traditional meanings of theoria refer to attendance at public festivals and consultation of oracles. Plato first extends its meaning to express the vision of (...) timeless truths. However, he does not give theoria a single meaning intended to express the philosophical experience, but has Socrates employ it dialectically according to the characters and aspirations of diverse interlocutors. ;Aristotle gives the language of theoria a twofold development, systematically forging a language for acts of cognition while also reshaping the objects of his students' aspirations. In the Nicomachean Ethics , he exploits the aristocratic aspiration to preeminence that aims at rule, replacing the statesman with the philosopher as object of emulation. The language of theoria in the final chapters borrows grandeur from the objects that at this point wisdom is said to pursue, the stars and cosmos; as in the Republic, the human mind is said to enjoy godlike theoria. In his natural philosophy, Aristotle shifts the focus from stars to animals; theoria loses the grandeur it had in the Ethics and comes to express the thoughtful observation of the causes of natural phenomena. ;In the Metaphysics, Aristotle makes more explicit the ethics proper to the life of inquiry, based on the radical experience of aporia about the most fundamental questions of being and the shared attempt to formulate these questions and pursue answers within the Lyceum culture. It involves liberation from the admiration accorded the transcendently wise man and delivering oneself to wonder at the most puzzling questions. This dissolution of the emulous relationship between teacher and student entails the creation of a greater distance between human and diving thought; in the theology of Book Lambda, theoria refers only to human thought, which cannot attain the same perfection as divine noesis. (shrink)
Mark Kelman’s recent book, The Heuristics Debate , has two main goals. First, it seeks to reconstruct the controversy in decision science between Kahneman et al.’s heuristics-and-biases approach and Gigerenzer et al.’s fast-and-frugal heuristics approach. Second, it tries to discuss its implications for jurisprudence and policy-making. This study focuses on the first task only. The study attempts to show that, although HD has several important merits, its interpretation of the controversy misses some crucial aspects. Specifically, HD fails to appreciate (...) that the debate is fundamentally about what a “rational” judgment is in the first place. Moreover, because of this, HD also fails to acknowledge the interplay between normative and methodological considerations. With regard to this aspect, HD’s treatment of the controversy fits into a long tradition. This study takes the opportunity to rectify the error. (shrink)
At the level of theoretical foundations, contemporary bioethics is to a large extent Balkanized. Without difficulty, one can find contributions from communitarians, consequentialists, and feminists, as well as those who advocate an and The problem is not so much the wide diversity of views as the lack of agreement over the basics of medical ethics. For that reason alone, any attempt to find some harmony among these many diverse voices is a welcome addition to the literature. FragmentationandConsensus is such an (...) attempt. Kuczewski argues that both communitarianism and casuistry can be understood as neo-Aristotelian approaches to ethics, and that once these views are communitarianism and casuistry are found to be highly complementary. In the process of constructing his theory, Kuczewski also finds room for liberal political theory and narrative ethics. The resulting amalgam is interesting, and the project ambitious. (shrink)
Aan de hand van het werk van de Duitse romancier W.G. Sebald breekt Mark Anderson een lans voor een herwaardering van de melancholie, als enig mogelijke houding om de last van het verleden die we moeten dragen, te kunnen torsen. De kunsten zijn het aangewezen instrument voor deze ‘daad van verzet’ ‘tegen de krachten van vernietiging en vergeten in het menselijk leven’. Het werk van Sebald, achtervolgd door de ‘postmemory’ aan het Duitse oorlogsgeweld dat hij zelf alleen indirect had (...) meegemaakt, is hiervan een veelzeggende illustratie. (shrink)
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