Vehement resentment and indignation are rife in societies emerging from dictatorship or civil conflict. How should institutions deal with these emotions? Arguing for the need to recognize and constructively engage negative public emotions, Mihaela Mihai contributes theoretically to the growing field of transitional justice. Drawing on an extensive philosophical literature and case studies of democratic transitions in South Africa, South America, and Eastern Europe, her book rescues negative emotions from their bad reputation and highlights the obstacles and the opportunities (...) such emotions create for democracy. By valorizing negative emotions, either through the judicial review of transitional justice bills or the criminal trials of victimizers, institutions realize the value of respect and concern for all while contributing to a public culture hospitable to democracy. (shrink)
In an effort to delineate a more plausible account of political change, this paper reads Pierre Bourdieu’s social theory as a corrective to exaggerated enthusiasm about the emancipatory force of reflection. This revised account valorizes both Bourdieu’s insights into the acquired, embodied, durable nature of the political habitus and judgment theorists’ trust in individuals’ reflection as a perpetual force of novelty and spontaneity in the public sphere of democratic societies. The main purpose of this exercise is to reveal the mix (...) of continuity and discontinuity that is characteristic of most transformations in the political common sense of democratic societies. In other words, this paper seeks to offer a more complex understanding of the inertial character of reflective judgment and of the difficulty of shifting the categories that define the political common sense. By cross-pollinating the ever-growing literature on reflective judgment and Bourdieu’s sombre theory of politics, we can better calibrate our expectations regarding the possibilities of significant democratic transformation in late capitalist societies. (shrink)
This article seeks to examine the ways in which courts of constitutional review have tried to deal with public sentiments within societies emerging from large-scale oppression and conflict. A comparative analysis of judicial review decisions from post-communist Hungary, post-apartheid South Africa and post-dictatorial Argentina is meant to show-case how judges have, more or less successfully, recognised and pedagogically engaged social negative feelings of resentment and indignation towards former victimisers and beneficiaries of violence. Thus, the article hopes to pave the way (...) for more in-depth research on one of the most neglected dimensions of post-conflict societies: public affect. (shrink)
This paper seeks to contribute to the field of transitional justice by adding new insights about the role that trials of victimizers can play within democratization processes. The main argument is that criminal proceedings affirming the value of equal respect and concern for both victims and abusers can contribute to the socialization of citizens’ politically relevant emotions. More precisely, using law constructively to engage public resentment and indignation can be successful to the extent that legality is not sacrificed. In order (...) to locate this argument within the rich literature on the pedagogical functions of transitional trials this paper enters a dialogue with three emblematic texts. Lawrence Douglas’s narrative jurisprudence approach, Judith Shklar’s critique of the limits of legalism, and Marc Osiel’s interest in ‘discursive solidarity’ represent starting points for a more complex conceptualization of the relationship between democracy, law and emotional education within transformational periods. (shrink)
Many voices and stories have been systematically silenced in interpersonal conversations, political deliberations and historical narratives. Recalcitrant and interrelated patterns of epistemic, political, cultural and economic marginalisation exclude individuals as knowers, citizens, agents. Two questions lie at the centre of this article, which focuses on the epistemically – but also politically, culturally and economically – dominant: How can we sabotage the dominant’s investment in their own ignorance of unjust silencing? How can they be seduced to become acute perceivers of others’ (...) experiences of oppression and reckon with their own participation in it? Situated at the intersection between political theory, aesthetics and epistemology, this article contributes a so-far-unexplored suggestion: that certain literary works create epistemic friction between shared, entrenched prejudices on the one hand, and representations of epistemic exclusion or authority, on the other. Their power to illuminate ideational, moral and experiential limitations makes them valuable tools in problematising, rendering visible and dislocating epistemic injustice, as well as other marginalisations it intersects with. To advance this argument, the article relies on insights from aesthetics, unpacking fiction’s multidimensional epistemic potential. Audre Lorde exemplifies literary works’ ability to seductively sabotage bias and provide audiences with prosthetic visions of unfamiliar experiences of marginalisation. (shrink)
The paper seeks to contribute to the transitional justice literature by overcoming the Democracy v. Justice debate. This debate is normatively implausible and prudentially self-defeating. Normatively, transitional justice will be conceptualised as an imperative of democratic equal concern. Prudentially, it can prevent further violence and provide an opportunity for initiating processes of democratic emotional socialisation. The resentment and indignation animating transitions should be acknowledged as markers of a sense of justice. As such, they can help the reproduction of democracy. However, (...) their public expression must be institutionally filtered through democratic norms. The consistent institutional instantiation of equal respect can educate and recuperate negative emotions for democracy. (shrink)
This paper aims to offer an account of state apologies that discloses their potential function as catalysing political acts within broader processes of democratic change. While lots of ink has been spilled on analysing the relationship between apologies and processes of recognising the victims and their descendants, more needs to be said about how apologies can challenge the presence of self-congratulatory, distorted visions of history within the public sphere of liberal democracies. My account will be delineated through a critical engagement (...) with one very frequent objection to public apologies, namely that they unnecessarily taint the self-image of the community. Insights from the philosophy of judgment will be used to show how, in the form of an exemplary judgment, an official “sorry” can inspire societal reflection about an unsavoury past. (shrink)
Apology An apology is the act of declaring one’s regret, remorse, or sorrow for having insulted, failed, injured, harmed or wronged another. Some apologies are interpersonal (between individuals, that is, between friends, family members, colleagues, lovers, neighbours, or strangers). Other apologies are collective (by one group to another group or by a group to an […].
This article focuses on the most recent debates in a certain area of the ‘law and emotion’ field, namely the literature on the role of affect in the criminal law. Following the dominance of cognitivism in the philosophy of emotions, authors moved away from seeing emotions as contaminations on reason and examined how affective reactions could be accommodated within penal proceedings. The review is structured into two main components. I look first at contributions about the multi-dimensional presence of emotions within (...) ordinary criminal proceedings. Second, I examine work done on the use of criminal trials under the emotionally stressful circumstances of post-conflict societies. In the conclusion I sketch a theoretical proposal for moving the discussion forward. (shrink)
The paper seeks to analyse how two domestic courts decided criminal trials under circumstances of emotional mobilisation and political stress. Decisions from Argentina after 1983 and Romania after Ceausescu’s dictatorship illustrate how citizens’ affects influence courts’ choices within penal cases. Both cases show how the judiciary had to enter a dialogue with resentful and indignant claims for redress. However, while the Argentinean court filtered emotions through the strainer of equal respect and thus pushed the cause of democratic justice ahead, the (...) Romanian case serves as a cautionary tale about how not to correct injustices through criminal law. These two cases provide us with important lessons about the obstacles, but also the opportunities associated with public emotions during periods of radical political transformation. (shrink)
"Recent decades have witnessed a sharp rise in the number of state apologies for historical and more recent injustices, ranging from enslavement to displacement and from violations of treaties to war crimes, all providing the backdrop to displays of official regret. Featuring a host of leading authors in the field, this book seeks to contribute to the growing literature on official apologies by effectively combining philosophical reflection and empirical analysis. It achieves two interrelated goals: it enriches the theoretical debates on (...) the nature and functions of apologies while bringing forth new insights from hitherto unexamined normative horizons. It further addresses often overlooked aspects of political apologies, such as their non-verbal dimension as well as religious overtones, while testing theoretical reflections through encounters with real practices of state apologies. Finally, the book explores the obstacles to, and the limitations of, political apologies. The result is an excellent interdisciplinary volume that affords the reader a better understanding of conditions for a legitimate and successful state apology. -/- TABLE OF CONTENTS 1. Introduction PART I: THEORETICAL FOUNDATIONS 2. Beyond the Ideal Political Apology; Alice MacLachlan 3. Political Apologies and Categorical Apologies; Nick Smith PART II: RITES AND RITUALS OF REGRET 4. From Mea Culpa to Nostra Culpa: A Reparative Apology from the Catholic Church?; Danielle Celermajer 5. The Power of Ritual Ceremonies in State Apologies: An Empirical Analysis of the Bilateral Polish-Russian Commemoration Ceremony in Katyn in 2010; Michel-André Horelt 6. Confessing the Holocaust: The Evolution of German Guilt; Stefan Engert PART III: CHALLENGING CASES 7. Revisiting the 'Membership Theory of Apologies': Apology Politics in Australia and Canada; Melissa Nobles 8. The Canadian Apology To Indigenous Residential School Survivors: A Case Study of Re-Negotiation of Social Relations; Neil Funk-Unrau 9. What Makes a State Apology Authoritative? Lessons from Post-Authoritarian Brazil; Nina Schneider PART IV: OBSTACLES AND LIMITATIONS 10. The Apology in Democracies: Reflections on the Challenges of Competing Goods, Citizenship, Nationalism and Pluralist Politics; Michael Cunningham 11. An Apology for Public Apologies; Juan Espindola 12. Reasoning Like a State: Integration and the Limits of Official Regret; Cindy Holder". (shrink)
In this paper I aim to show that the philosophy of Mihai Şora can both be seen as a phenomenological treatment of being and as a general theory of being in its most rigorous sense. At least, this philosophy could be designated as a phenomenological ontology which opens up itself towards an originally metaphysical perspective based on a specific type of knowledge of the sort of “global disclosure”. I will argue too that within Şora's philosophy one can have a (...) twofold approach: one starts from what we could call the phenomenology of the “common givenness” (“ordinary/ quotidian givenness”) and then proceeds (in a phenomenological manner) to a general theory of being, which is represented in Şora's philosophy by the constitution of the model of the “sphere with the null ray”; the second commences with the treatment of the ontological model as such (the model, which is already formed, represents in the end the symbolic structure of reality), that is, from this “general theory of being” (or of the constitution of being) and then advances step by step towards various (phenomenological) applications of this ontological model to the multifaceted spheres of the domain of being (the sphere of language, of temporality, of ethics, of the social, of politics, etc.). (shrink)
The present contribution has the purpose of evidencing both the originality of Şora’s understanding of time (and its importance for the question of authenticity, empathy and intersubjectivity), and the possibility of a dialogue with Husserl’s understanding of the consciousness of internal time. One of the most important aspects of my paper is the endeavour to bring to light the underlying structure of temporality at work in Mihai Şora’s philosophy. The two forms of temporality present in Şora’s thought – the (...) temporality “of the Moment” and that “of the instances of countable time” – open up the possibility of a phenomenological understanding of time. Some specific terms which Şora uses to describe the two forms of temporality – like the “vertical plunge”, “openness”, “disclosure”, “the gift of Encounter”, “the horizontal walk”, etc. – seem, at least at first, to belong to a poetic language, full of metaphors, a language which doesn’t seem to have much in common with the rigors of a philosophical language, but they nevertheless reveal some fundamental characteristics of the two forms of temporality. The possibility of understanding and interpreting these forms of temporality as structures belonging to the consciousness of time, in a broad sense (which correspond to the fabric of the real word, according to Şora’s ontological model), is another interesting question which will be debated in the present study. (shrink)
My aim here is to analyze a few possible ways of transcending the dichotomous character of philosophical thinking. I focus on Mihai Şora’s philosophy because it is best suited for this goal. The question that will guide this paper is whether it is possible to go beyond the dichotomous nature of philosophy. My thesis will be that, when considering Mihai Şora’s thought, one can answer in the affirmative. We look for the details of Şora’s philosophy which allow us (...) to set forth how actually takes place the transcendence of the dichotomist view. We focus on the concept called “the organic entanglement” since it is the core of Şora’s approach. (shrink)
Over the last two centuries, the relationship between philosophy and science has completely broken down, so the question we are confronted with is: How can we develop a new philosophy, which will influence science decisively? The physicists of the last century rejected their contemporary philosophy. They considered that “philosophy today is dead” (Hawking and Mlodinow 2010). However, we believe that the great scientific problems are always philosophical, and only philosophical problems. Therefore, these problems can be solved only by philosophers and (...) scientists who operate at the greatest level of thinking: that of the “paradigm of thinking”. In fact, these great scientific problems can usually be solved by changing the “paradigm of thinking” for scientists. This book furnished more applications of the “epistemologically different worlds” (that replaced the “world”/”universe” – in their previous books (2008, 2010, 2011, etc.), the authors indicated that the notion of the world/universe is wrong). Following Aristotle’s “Prime Mover” (or the “Unmoved Mover”), we stop the regress ad infinitum by discovering the first EW, the EW0 (the Hypernothing). Even if one EW does not exist for any EDW, the Hypernothing was the first EW and all other EDWs correspond to the EW0. Chapter 2 is about the “Hypernothing”. The other chapters continue our works of applying the EDWs to different concepts/areas of Physics: quantum mechanics, elementary particles, thermodynamics (with its main notion, “entropy”), etc. In the last chapter, knowing that Einstein’s special and general theory of relativity are very correct (but in a book 2016 we showed that “spacetime” cannot ontologically exist), we re-write both theories without “spacetime”. Content, Introduction and Chapter 1, FREE at https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=gabriel+vacariu&rh=i %3Aaps%2Ck%3Agabriel+vacariu . (shrink)
The modern world, described by theorists of various fields as being subject to a continuous secularization process, is increasingly being perceived as the keeper of a mythical fund. The anthropological analysis of modernity invites to a new way of discussing and using myth, ritual, the sacred, religion in order to describe a significant modern experience. This experience typical to the modern man is mediated, and often even created by the mass media. Such an experience would not be perceptible outside the (...) lay context of the modern world, characterized by the presence of a weak transcendence. This favors the development of a mass culture, with various subcultures, as well as various professional cultures, in which a search for authenticity opens a wide space for the cohabitation of traditional religions and the weak forms of experience and manifestation of the sacred. In order to have this discussion I have chosen one of the most representative Romanian authors in the field of mass media anthropology. His analyses persuade us that the mass media is, among others, an instrument of symbolic construction of reality, and plays in the modern society the same part that myth used to play in traditional societies. (shrink)
Dark matter and dark energy. Two notions that have troubled cosmologists for a long time. Why? Because they don’t have a “satisfactory” definition, and nobody can identify the “matter” or “forces” that govern them. Currently, we can only deduce the existence of these two notions from the strange movement of the galaxies and the manner they move away from one another, with increasing speed. However, these are not the only mysteries that cosmology cannot yet explain. What happened before the Big (...) Bang? Is the universe still expanding (cosmic inflation)? What is the relation between the theory of relativity and the laws of quantum mechanics? What if the answers to all these questions were far more accessible than researchers thought? What if the real “culprit” for their absence was in fact the framework used by cosmologists, a framework that involves the existence of space and time? With the help of the Epistemologically Different Worlds paradigm, Gabriel and Mihai Vacariu aim to offer an answer to all these questions and many others. -/- Content -/- Chapter 1 Epistemologically different worlds Chapter 2 Space and time cannot even exist! 2.1 Leibniz versus Newton 2.2 Space and time, just illusions of human mind 2.3 Spacetime, Einstein’s special theory of relativity, nothing and EDWs Chapter 3 Big Bang, inflation and gravitational waves 3.1 Big Bang and what was immediately after Big Bang: gravitational waves and inflation? 3.2 The results of BICEP2 about Big Bang, gravitational waves and inflation Chapter 4 Dark matter and dark energy 4.1 General information about dark matter and dark energy 4.2 “Haloes”, “structures”, and the “flat universe” 4.3 Does any relationship between dark matter and dark energy exist? 4.4 Do “interactions” of dark particles exist? 4.5 Other problems related to dark matter and dark energy 4.6 The Martian, dark matter and dark energy Chapter 5 Grand Unified Theory and Theory of Everything, the impossible relationship between quantum mechanics and Einstein’s theory of relativity 5.1 Einstein’s theory of relativity and quantum mechanics 5.2 GUT or TOE? Or neither? Conclusion of this book at http://filosofie.unibuc.ro/cv_gabriel_vacariu/conclusion-2016-vacariu-and-vacariu-dark-matter/. (shrink)
In this paper, we characterize the strength of the predicative Frege hierarchy, , introduced by John Burgess in his book [J. Burgess, Fixing frege, in: Princeton Monographs in Philosophy, Princeton University Press, Princeton, 2005]. We show that and are mutually interpretable. It follows that is mutually interpretable with Q. This fact was proved earlier by Mihai Ganea in [M. Ganea, Burgess’ PV is Robinson’s Q, The Journal of Symbolic Logic 72 619–624] using a different proof. Another consequence of the (...) our main result is that is mutually interpretable with Kalmar Arithmetic . The fact that interprets EA was proved earlier by Burgess. We provide a different proof. Each of the theories is finitely axiomatizable. Our main result implies that the whole hierarchy taken together, , is not finitely axiomatizable. What is more: no theory that is mutually locally interpretable with is finitely axiomatizable. (shrink)
In  John Burgess describes predicative versions of Frege's logic and poses the problem of finding their exact arithmetical strength. I prove here that PV, the simplest such theory, is equivalent to Robinson's arithmetical theory Q.
Finitism is given an interpretation based on two ideas about strings (sequences of symbols): a replacement principle extracted from Hilberts class 2 can be justified by means of an additional finitistic choice principle, thus obtaining a second equational theory . It is unknown whether is strictly stronger than since 2 may coincide with the class of lower elementary functions.
The notion of computation has changed the world more than any previous expressions of knowledge. However, as know-how in its particular algorithmic embodiment, computation is closed to meaning. Therefore, computer-based data processing can only mimic life’s creative aspects, without being creative itself. AI’s current record of accomplishments shows that it automates tasks associated with intelligence, without being intelligent itself. Mistaking the abstract for the concrete has led to the religion of “everything is an output of computation”—even the humankind that conceived (...) the computer. The hypostatized role of computers explains the increased dependence on them. The convergence machine called deep learning is only the most recent form through which the deterministic theology of the machine claims more than what it actually is: extremely effective data processing. A proper understanding of complexity, as well as the need to distinguish between the reactive nature of the artificial and the anticipatory nature of the living are suggested as practical responses to the challenges posed by machine theology. (shrink)
In this article, the author recalls the circumstances when he first met Alexandru Dragomir, together with André Scrima and Mihai Şora, with the occasion of a conference on the phenomenology of time at the New Europe College in Bucharest. Then, the author talks about his philosophical relationship with Alexandru Dragomir during the following years, insisting upon the phenomenological debates they had and upon the specific manner of Dragomir’s thinking.
Relations between some theories of semigroups (also known as theories of strings or theories of concatenation) and arithmetic are surveyed. In particular Robinson's arithmetic Q is shown to be mutually interpretable with TC, a weak theory of concatenation introduced by Grzegorczyk. Furthermore, TC is shown to be interpretable in the theory F studied by Tarski and Szmielewa, thus confirming their claim that F is essentially undecidable.
We develop an abstract proof calculus for logics whose sentences are ‘Horn sentences’ of the form: $(\forall X)H \Rightarrow c$ and prove an institutional generalization of Birkhoff completeness theorem. This result is then applied to the particular cases of Horn clauses logic, the ‘Horn fragment’ of preorder algebras, order-sorted algebras and partial algebras and their infinitary variants.
If complexity is a necessary but not sufficient premise for the existence and expression of the living, anticipation is the distinguishing characteristic of what is alive. Anticipation is at work even at levels of existence where we cannot refer to intelligence. The prospect of artificially generating aesthetic artifacts and ethical constructs of relevance to a world in which the natural and the artificial are coexistent cannot be subsumed as yet another product of scientific and technological advancement. Beyond the artificial, the (...) synthetic conjures the understanding of aesthetics and ethics no longer from the perspective of the How? type of question, but rather the Why? Given the current infatuation with synthetic biology (i.e., making life from non-life), there is a practical consequence to such considerations. Synthetic life, as any other form of life, implies the possibility of evolution. Anticipation, which is the underlying factor of evolution, is thus expected. At the level of human existence, anticipation is expressed, for instance (but not exclusively), in aesthetic forms and ethical values. This translates, in turn, into an argument for the role aesthetics and ethics play in the process. Consequently, to qualify as life, the synthesis of the physical and the living will have to efficiently handle ambiguity. Current computational facilities, regardless of their nature or performance, operate exclusively in the semiotic domain of the well defined non-ambiguous. (shrink)