Modern scientific cosmology pushes the boundaries of knowledge and the knowable. This is prompting questions on the nature of scientific knowledge. A central issue is what defines a 'good' model. When addressing global properties of the Universe or its initial state this becomes a particularly pressing issue. How to assess the probability of the Universe as a whole is empirically ambiguous, since we can examine only part of a single realisation of the system under investigation: at some point, data will (...) run out. We review the basics of applying Bayesian statistical explanation to the Universe as a whole. We argue that a conventional Bayesian approach to model inference generally fails in such circumstances, and cannot resolve, e.g., the so-called 'measure problem' in inflationary cosmology. Implicit and non-empirical valuations inevitably enter model assessment in these cases. This undermines the possibility to perform Bayesian model comparison. One must therefore either stay silent, or pursue a more general form of systematic and rational model assessment. We outline a generalised axiological Bayesian model inference framework, based on mathematical lattices. This extends inference based on empirical data (evidence) to additionally consider the properties of model structure (elegance) and model possibility space (beneficence). We propose this as a natural and theoretically well-motivated framework for introducing an explicit, rational approach to theoretical model prejudice and inference beyond data. (shrink)
Modern scientific cosmology pushes the boundaries of knowledge and the knowable. This is prompting questions on the nature of scientific knowledge, and the emergence of the new field “Philosophy of Cosmology.” One central issue is what defines a “good” model. I discuss how “good” models are conventionally chosen, and how those methods operate in data-sparse situations: enabling the implicit introduction of value judgments, which can determine inference and lead to inferential polarization, e.g., on the question of ultimate explanation. Additional dimensions (...) for comparing models are needed. A three-legged comparison is proposed: evidence, elegance and beneficence. This explicitly considers the categories of criteria that are always at least implicitly used. A tentative path to an implementation of the proposed model comparison framework is presented. This extends the Bayesian statistical framework. Model comparison methodology is fertile ground for dialogue between the sciences and the humanities. The proposed framework might facilitate such a dialogue. (shrink)
Listening to someone from some distance in a crowded room you may experience the following phenomenon: when looking at them speak, you may both hear and see where the source of the sounds is; but when your eyes are turned elsewhere, you may no longer be able to detect exactly where the voice must be coming from. With your eyes again fixed on the speaker, and the movement of her lips a clear sense of the source of the sound will (...) return. This ‘ventriloquist’ effect reflects the ways in which visual cognition can dominate auditory perception. And this phenomenological observation is one what you can verify or disconfirm in your own case just by the slightest reflection on what it is like for you to listen to someone with or without visual contact with them. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to set out some of the ontologies amongst which some forms of anti-realism must select. This provides the appropriate setting for presenting an alternative realist ontology. The argument is that the choice between the varieties of anti-realism and realism is inevitably a choice between ontologies.
‘Marital faithfulness’ refers to faithful love for a spouse or lover to whom one is committed, rather than the narrower idea of sexual fidelity. The distinction is clearly marked in traditional wedding vows. A commitment to love faithfully is central: ‘to have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death us do part… and thereto I plight [pledge] thee my troth [faithfulness]’. (...) Sexual fidelity is promised in a subordinate clause, symbolizing its supportive role in promoting love's constancy: ‘and, forsaking all other, keep thee only unto her/him.’. (shrink)
Does anyone ever survive his or her bodily death ? Could anyone? No speculative questions are older than these, or have been answered more frequently or more variously. None have been laid to rest more often, or — in our times — with more claimed decisiveness. Jay Rosenberg, for instance, no doubt speaks for many contemporary philosophers when he claims, in his recent book, to have ‘ demonstrated ’ that ‘ we cannot [even] make coherent sense of the supposed possibility (...) that a person's history might continue beyond that person's [bodily] death’. (shrink)
In ‘ The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy ’ Laurence Sterne writes: That of all the several ways of beginning a book which are now in practice throughout the known world, I am confident my own way of doing it is the best—I'm sure it is the most religious—for I begin with writing the first sentence—and trusting to Almighty God for the second.
Q: If necessity is the mother of invention, whence necessity? A. : The matrix of necessity in God-talk is religious experience, philosophically interpreted. The interpreters, theists and non-thesists, have indeed been inventive.
In Chapters 6 and 7 of Language, Truth and Poetry I attempted to solve the ancient problem of fictional reference by claiming that a fictional construct ‘points’ or refers to certain features of reality in rather the same way as an abstraction like ‘gravitation’ or ‘cruelty’ does. I now believe that this theory of mine is unsatisfactory; and I should like to propose a new solution to the problem.
The standard foil for recent theories of hope is the belief-desire analysis advocated by Hobbes, Day, Downie, and others. According to this analysis, to hope for S is no more and no less than to desire S while believing S is possible but not certain. Opponents of the belief-desire analysis argue that it fails to capture one or another distinctive feature or function of hope: that hope helps one resist the temptation to despair;2 that hope engages the sophisticated capacities of (...) human agency, such as planning;3 or that hope involves the imagination in ways desire need not.4 Here, I focus on the role of imagination in hope, and discuss its implications for hope’s relation to practical commitment or end-setting. (shrink)
This critical review aims to more fully situate the claim Martin Heidegger makes in ‘Letter on Humanism’ that a “productive dialogue” between his work and that of Karl Marx is possible. The prompt for this is Paul Laurence Hemming’s recently published Heidegger and Marx: A Productive Dialogue over the Language of Humanism (2013) which omits to fully account for the historical situation which motivated Heidegger’s seemingly positive endorsement of Marxism. This piece will show that there were significant external factors (...) which influenced Heidegger’s claim and that, when seen within his broader corpus, these particular comments in “Letter on Humanism” are evidently disingenuous, given that his general opinion of Marxism can only be described as vitriolic. Any attempt to explore how such a “productive dialogue” could be construed must fully contextualise Heidegger’s claim for it. This piece will aim to do that, and more broadly explore Heidegger’s general opinion of Marxism. (shrink)
French theorist Luce Irigaray has become one of the twentieth century's most influential feminist thinkers. Among her many writings are three books (with a projected fourth) in which she challenges the Western tradition's construals of human beings' relations to the four elements--earth, air, fire, and water--and to nature. In answer to Heidegger's undoing of Western metaphysics as a "forgetting of Being," Irigaray seeks in this work to begin to think out the Being of sexedness and the sexedness of Being. This (...) volume is the first English translation of L'oubli de l'air chez Martin Heidegger (1983). In this complex, lyrical, meditative engagement with the later work of the eminent German philosopher, Irigaray critiques Heidegger's emphasis on the element of earth as the ground of life and speech and his "oblivion" or forgetting of air. With the other volumes (Elemental Passions and Marine Lover of Friedrich Nietzsche) in Irigaray's "elemental" series, The Forgetting of Air offers a fundamental rereading of basic tenets in Western metaphysics. And with its emphasis on dwelling and human habitation, it will be important reading not only in the humanities but also in architecture and the environmental sciences. (shrink)
Martin Heidegger's overt alliance with the Nazis and the specific relation between this alliance and his philosophical thought - the degree to which his concepts are linked to a thoroughly disreputable set of political beliefs - have been the topic of a storm of recent debate. Written ten years before this debate, this study by France's leading sociologist and cultural theorist is both a precursor of that debate and an analysis of the institutional mechanisms involved in the production of (...) philosophical discourse. Though Heidegger is aware of and acknowledges the legitimacy of purely philosophical issues (in his references to canonic authors, traditional problems, and respect for academic taboos), Bourdieu points out that the complexity and abstraction of Heidegger's philosophical discourse stems from its situation in the cultural field, where two social and intellentual dimensions - political thought and academic thought - intersect. Bourdieu concludes by suggesting that Heidegger should not be considered as a Nazi ideologist, that there is no place in Heidegger's philosophical ideas for a racist conception of the human being. Rather, he sees Heidegger's thought as a structural equivalent in the field of philosophy of the 'conservative revolution', of which nazism is but one manifestation. (shrink)
No one is quite sure what happened to T.S. Eliot in that rose-garden. What we do know is that it formed the basis for Four Quartets, arguably the greatest English poem written in the twentieth century. Luckily it turns out that Martin Heidegger, when not pondering the meaning of being, spent a great deal of time thinking and writing about the kind of event that Eliot experienced. This essay explores how Heidegger developed the concept of Ereignis, “event” which, in (...) the context of Eliot’s poetry, helps us understand an encounter with the “heart of light” a little better. (shrink)
This article juxtaposes two of the most influential thinkers of the previous century, Georges Bataille and Martin Heidegger: my overarching claim will be that a contrastive approach allows a better understanding of two central dynamics within their work. First, I show that both were deeply troubled by a certain methodological anxiety; namely, that the practice of writing might distort and deform their insights. By employing a comparative strategy, I suggest that we can gain a better understanding of the very (...) specific form this fear takes in them: in each case, it is articulated and justified in terms of the ‘chose’ or ‘Ding’ (‘thing’) or the ‘objet’ or ‘Objekt’ (‘object’). Second, I argue that close textual comparison allows us to identify an important, new dimension in their reactions to this shared anxiety: the thing or object which was originally the site of the anxiety gradually becomes, through series of ontological and textual shifts, the solution to it. I track this transformation across a range of case studies including Heidegger’s later work on the term ‘Ding’ and Bataille’s treatment of prostitution. I close by indicating how these results might create avenues for further research. (shrink)
This article discusses Heidegger’s interpretation of Parmenides given in his last public lecture ‘The Principle of Identity’ in 1957. The aim of the piece is to illustrate just how original and significant Heidegger’s reading of Parmenides and the principle of identity is, within the history of Philosophy. Thus the article will examine the traditional metaphysical interpretation of Parmenides and consider G.W.F. Hegel and William James’ account of the principle of identity in light of this. It will then consider Heidegger’s contribution, (...) his return to and re-interpretation of Parmenides in his last lecture. Heidegger will, through the Parmenidean claim that ‘Thinking and Being are one’ deconstruct the traditional metaphysical understanding of the principle of identity, and in its place offer a radically different conception of how our relationship, our ‘belonging together’ with Being can be understood. (shrink)
The Jewish philosopher and educator Martin Buber (1878–1965) is considered one of the twentieth century’s greatest contributors to the philosophy of religion and is also recognized as the pre-eminent scholar of Hasidism. He has also attracted considerable attention as a philosopher of education. However, most commentaries on this aspect of his work have focussed on the implications of his philosophy for formal education and for the education of the child. Given that much of Buber’s philosophy is based on dialogue, (...) on community and on mutuality, it is puzzling that relatively little has been written on the implications of Buber’s thought for the theory and practice of non-formal adult education. The article provides a discussion of the philosophy underpinning this aspect of Martin Buber’s life and work, and its implications for adult non-formal education. (shrink)
T.S. Eliot’s Four Quartets is foremost a meditation on the significance of place. Each quartet is named for a place which holds importance for Eliot, either because of historical or personal memory. I argue that this importance is grounded in an ontological topology, by which I mean that the poem explores the fate of the individual and his/her heritage as inextricably bound up with the notion of place. This sense of place extends beyond the borders of a single life to (...) encompass the remembered past and the unknown future. How this broader narrative of the passing and enduring of human existence can be better understood is a primary concern of the work of Martin Heidegger, in whose Being and Time the historical, situated context of an individual within a community is an important theme. Even more important is his later work in which this theme is extended to include place and dwelling. Dwelling is a particularly rich and poetic idea, weaving the narratological, topological and temporal aspects of human existence together, offering a challenge to modern technology thinking. This paper explores Heidegger’s thoughts on the topology of Being within the context of a poem which, I contend, is also telling the story of human situatedness, and attempting to understand what it means to truly dwell. (shrink)
El presente trabajo es un estudio del libro de Martin Kusch acerca den las tesis sostenidas en "Wittgenstein on Rules and Private Language" (WRPL) por Saul Kripke examinado a la luz de la controversia desatada por la publicación del mismo en 1982, una de las más intensas que han ocurrido en los últimos 25 años en el seno de la filosofía analítica. En nuestro estudio procedemos en tres etapas. En la primera, presentaremos el desafío del Wittgenstein de Kripke de (...) una manera lo más neutral que podemos. En la segunda, presentaremos las características más notables trabajo de Kusch. En la tercera parte rebasamos los límites más estrictos de un comentario crítico para proponer una hipótesis propia acerca de la manera en la que la interpretación de Kusch permite comprender el vínculo de la propuesta de Kripke con la discusión clásica acerca del lenguaje privado como así también la discusión clásica permite realizar algunas observaciones críticas acerca de la propuesta de Kusch. (shrink)
With characteristic lucidity and style, Steiner makes Heidegger's immensely difficult body of work accessible to the general reader. In a new introduction, Steiner addresses language and philosophy and the rise of Nazism. "It would be hard to imagine a better introduction to the work of philosopher Martin Heidegger."--George Kateb, The New Republic.
This paper undertakes a philosophical analysis of the speech given by the German writer Martin Walser when the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade was awarded to him in 1998. I reconstruct Walser's infamous claims about the Holocaust and his critique against its presence in the media and discuss Walser's proclamation of a right for disregarding his claims about German normality and his views about private commemoration.
We introduce the anti-rectangle refining property for forcing notions and investigate fragments of Martin’s axiom for ℵ1 dense sets related to the anti-rectangle refining property, which is close to some fragment of Martin’s axiom for ℵ1 dense sets related to the rectangle refining property, and prove that they are really weaker fragments.