My dissertation deals with the Master Argument of Diodorus Cronus, a contemporary of Aristotle's. The argument was one of the most famous pieces of temporal and modal reasoning in ancient philosophy. It purports to prove that a proposition is possible if and only if it is true or will be true. The argument runs as follows: Everything that is past and true is necessary; The impossible does not follow the possible; Therefore, nothing is possible which neither is nor will be (...) true. Unfortunately, all accounts of the Master that have survived are so sketchy that we cannot determine whether the argument is valid or not. ;Several reconstructions of Diodorus' argument have been proposed. The purpose of the reconstructions is to show, using the resources of modal and tense logics, that the argument is valid. I analyze and critique most of these proposals, arguing in the final chapter for a new reconstruction which I believe to be more defensible than existing ones. ;The Master Argument is important for several reasons. It elicited much discussion among ancient philosophers and logicians both because of its reduction of modal logic to tense logic and its bearing on the free will/determinism debate. But, its influence also extends to contemporary philosophy and logic. In the 1950s and 60s, the Master inspired formal work on Diodorean systems. Much of the work on the calculus of tenses, e.g., by Prior, was undertaken in view of investigating Diodorus' argument. Finally, the literature that the argument has spawned has enriched and deepened our understanding of the connections between matters modal and temporal. (shrink)
Ce livre s’efforce de réparer une injustice : proposer une réflexion d’ensemble sur l'œuvre du philosophe français Mikel Dufrenne (1910-1995) qui semble un peu délaissée voire méconnue aujourd’hui. Si sa démarche phénoménologique héritée de Husserl le conduit immanquablement à s’interroger sur la place singulière que l’objet esthétique occupe dans notre monde, son projet est plus ambitieux. L’attention que Mikel Dufrenne porte aux différents arts (les arts plastiques, la musique, la poésie) ainsi qu’à la richesse des expériences esthétiques vécues, (...) décrites et commentées, lui permet en effet de viser un but supérieur : non seulement redéfinir et réorganiser la phénoménologie autour de la question de l’art, mais faire de l’œuvre ce qui permet de remonter vers un principe originaire, la Nature, qui fonde toute création. Cette tâche singulière et méconnue méritait bien un effort philosophique collectif dont le présent ouvrage est le fruit. (shrink)
This article reflects upon the debate, initiated by Bernard Williams in 1973, concerning the desirability of immortality, where the latter expression is taken to mean endless bodily life as a human or humanoid being. Williams contends that it cannot be desirable; others have disputed this contention. I discuss a recent response from Timothy Chappell and attempt to pinpoint the central disagreement between Chappell and Williams. I propose that neither side in the debate has firm grounds for its claims, and then (...) proceed to consider four reasons for suspecting that the whole debate has yet to be placed on a conceptually coherent footing. (shrink)
Mikel Burley challenges that my essay, "Philosophy, Death and Immortality," in which I discussed the views of Dewi Phillips, fails to establish the case for a realist treatment of claims about the resurrection of Jesus and the general resurrection of human beings. I respond to these criticisms by again distinguishing between the analysis of the sense of religious claims and the determination of whether they purport to make reference beyond human language and practices. I consider particular texts drawn from (...) Christian scripture and argue that they are best understood in realist terms. I conclude by pointing out that a Wittgensteinean about meaning need not be a linguistic idealist. (shrink)
Este texto sinaliza o itinerário da fenomenologia à metafísica através da mediação da experiência estética, tal como a interpretamos na obra de Mikel Dufrenne. Deste modo, procuramos mostrar que a vivência estética comporta um "impulso" que a lança na demanda de uma radicalidade que configura um horizonte de "absoluto", superando a imanência. The present text signals the itinerary from phenomenology to metaphysics, mediated by aesthetic experience, as we interpret it in Mikel Dufrennes work. Thus, we intend to show (...) that aesthetic experience encompasses an impulse leading it on the demand of a radicality, which constitutes an horizon of absolute, overcoming the immanence. (shrink)
After examining arguments for and against the view that death is a bad thing, Mikel Burley tentatively endorses the Epicurean claim that death cannot rationally be judged bad. For moral reasons, however, this conclusion is acceptable only with regard to one's own death.