Avec un titre comme Luther et la philosophie, depuis le xviiie siècle et dans les milieux « libéraux » du xixe siècle, on aurait pu s’attendre à un exposé, bien sûr complet, de la philosophie du Réformateur. On trouve l’expression, par exemple, dans les tables analytiques de L’Encyclopédie, à l’entrée « luthéranisme ». Bien que Philippe Büttgen se soit donné comme objet, pour d’autres travaux, « la confessionnalisation de la philosophie ..
Jean-Luc Nancy discusses his life's work with Pierre-Philippe Jandin. As Nancy looks back on his philosophical texts, he thinks anew about democracy, community, jouissance, love, Christianity, and the arts.
John Gerring's exceptional textbook has been thoroughly revised in this second edition. It offers a one-volume introduction to social science methodology relevant to the disciplines of anthropology, economics, history, political science, psychology and sociology. This new edition has been extensively developed with the introduction of new material and a thorough treatment of essential elements such as conceptualization, measurement, causality and research design. It is written for students, long-time practitioners and methodologists and covers both qualitative and quantitative methods. It synthesizes the (...) vast and diverse field of methodology in a way that is clear, concise and comprehensive. While offering a handy overview of the subject, the book is also an argument about how we should conceptualize methodological problems. Thinking about methodology through this lens provides a new framework for understanding work in the social sciences. (shrink)
The concept of the cortical column refers to vertical cell bands with similar response properties, which were initially observed by Vernon Mountcastle’s mapping of single cell recordings in the cat somatic cortex. It has subsequently guided over 50 years of neuroscientific research, in which fundamental questions about the modularity of the cortex and basic principles of sensory information processing were empirically investigated. Nevertheless, the status of the column remains controversial today, as skeptical commentators proclaim that the vertical cell bands are (...) a functionally insignificant by-product of ontogenetic development. This paper inquires how the column came to be viewed as an elementary unit of the cortex from Mountcastle’s discovery in 1955 until David Hubel and Torsten Wiesel’s reception of the Nobel Prize in 1981. I first argue that Mountcastle’s vertical electrode recordings served as criteria for applying the column concept to electrophysiological data. In contrast to previous authors, I claim that this move from electrophysiological data to the phenomenon of columnar responses was concept-laden, but not theory-laden. In the second part of the paper, I argue that Mountcastle’s criteria provided Hubel Wiesel with a conceptual outlook, i.e. it allowed them to anticipate columnar patterns in the cat and macaque visual cortex. I argue that in the late 1970s, this outlook only briefly took a form that one could call a ‘theory’ of the cerebral cortex, before new experimental techniques started to diversify column research. I end by showing how this account of early column research fits into a larger project that follows the conceptual development of the column into the present. (shrink)
In 1981, David Hubel and Torsten Wiesel received the Nobel Prize for their research on cortical columns—vertical bands of neurons with similar functional properties. This success led to the view that “cortical column” refers to the basic building block of the mammalian neocortex. Since the 1990s, however, critics questioned this building block picture of “cortical column” and debated whether this concept is useless and should be replaced with successor concepts. This paper inquires which experimental results after 1981 challenged the building (...) block picture and whether these challenges warrant the elimination “cortical column” from neuroscientific discourse. I argue that the proliferation of experimental techniques led to a patchwork of locally adapted uses of the column concept. Each use refers to a different kind of cortical structure, rather than a neocortical building block. Once we acknowledge this diverse-kinds picture of “cortical column”, the elimination of column concept becomes unnecessary. Rather, I suggest that “cortical column” has reached conceptual retirement: although it cannot be used to identify a neocortical building block, column research is still useful as a guide and cautionary tale for ongoing research. At the same time, neuroscientists should search for alternative concepts when studying the functional architecture of the neocortex. keywords: Cortical column, conceptual development, history of neuroscience, patchwork, eliminativism, conceptual retirement. (shrink)
Upon learning that John C. Harsanyi was awarded the Bank of Sweden Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel, in 1994, for his pioneering work in game theory, few economists probably questioned the appropriateness of that choice. The Budapest-born social scientist had already been recognized as a first-rank contributor to non-cooperative game theory for some time. However, as many readers of this journal will be aware, Harsanyi first contributed to welfare economics, not game theory. More importantly, he was (...) philosophically minded and accordingly has been “acknowledged as the most influential philosopher in economics”. 1 This is of some significance since, before Harsanyi became acquainted with economics around 1950, his main interest was philosophy and, to a lesser extent, sociology and psychology. Rather than an economist with philosophical leanings, Harsanyi was actually a philosopher turned economist. (shrink)
Ariès traces Western man's attitudes toward mortality from the early medieval conception of death as the familiar collective destiny of the human race to the modern tendency, so pronounced in industrial societies, to hide death as if it were an embarrassing family secret.
I will present and criticise the two theories of truthmaking David Armstrong offers us in Truth and Truthmakers (Armstrong 2004), show to what extent they are incompatible and identify troublemakers for both of them, a notorious – Factualism, the view that the world is a world of states of affairs – and a more recent one – the view that every predication is necessary. Factualism, combined with truthmaker necessitarianism – ‘truthmaking is necessitation’ – leads Armstrong to an all-embracing totality state (...) of affairs that necessitates not only everything that is the case but also everything else – that which is not the case, that which is merely possible or even impossible. All the things so dear to realists – rocks, natural properties, real persons – become mere abstractions from this ontological monster. The view that every predication is necessary does in some sense the opposite: it does away with totality states of affairs and, arguably, also with states of affairs. We have particulars and universals, partially identical and necessarily connected to everything else. Just by the existence of anything, everything is necessitated – the whole world mirrored in every monad. Faced with the choice between these two equally unappealing alternatives, I suggest returning to Armstrong’s more empiricist past: the world is not an all-inclusive One, nor necessitated by every single particular and every single universal, but a plurality of particulars and universals, interconnected by a contingent and internal relation of exemplification. While a close variant, truthmaker essentialism, can perhaps be saved, this means giving up on truthmaker necessitarianism. This, I think, what it takes to steer a clear empiricist course between the Scylla of Spinozist general factness and the Charybdis of a Leibnizian overdose of brute necessities. (shrink)
Texto extracto de la Introducción del libro de Ger Groot. Adelante, ¡contradígame! Filosofía en conversación. Madrid, Sequitur, 2008. Ger Groot es profesor de filosofía en la Erasmus Universiteit de Rotterdam y colaborador de filosofía en publicaciones como NRC Handelsblad y De Groene Amsterdammer . En este libro presenta las conversaciones que el autor ha tenido con dieciocho personalidades de la filosofía contemporánea, y gira alrededor de los temas que más interesan a sus interlocutores. Ofrecemos un avance de esta edición a (...) través del texto que compone la introducción de este libro. (shrink)
This paper concerns Aristotle's kind‐crossing prohibition. My aim is twofold. I argue that the traditional accounts of the prohibition are subject to serious internal difficulties and should be questioned. According to these accounts, Aristotle's prohibition is based on the individuation of scientific disciplines and the general kind that a discipline is about, and it says that scientific demonstrations must not cross from one discipline, and corresponding kind, to another. I propose a very different account of the prohibition. The prohibition is (...) based on Aristotle's scientific and metaphysical essentialism, according to which a scientific demonstration must take as its starting point a set of per se properties of a subject, if these make up a single, unitary definition. The subject of demonstration here is a kind, although not the general kind associated with a discipline, but rather the particular kind that the particular demonstration is about. (shrink)
Darwin’s Conjecture is a bold attempt to bring evolutionary explanation to the social sciences, particularly economics. The book outlines the history of Darwinian explanation in social science then puts forward a generalized replicator account of social evolution by natural selection. The authors identify habits and routines as examples of the generative replicators necessary in order that social evolution is Darwinian. This reviewer notes that the replicator approach limits the generality of this account and suggests that habits and routines might better (...) be seen as members of a Darwinian population in the tradition of Godfrey-Smith’s (2009) generalized account of natural selection instead. Furthermore, the existence of levels of social evolution will constrain what evolution can occur low in the hierarchy. (shrink)
The significant theoretical objections that have been raised against memetics have not received adequate defense, even though there is ongoing empirical research in this field. In this paper I identify the key objections to memetics as a viable explanatory tool in studies of cultural evolution. I attempt to defuse these objections by arguing that they fail to show the absence of replication, high-fidelity copying, or lineages in the cultural domain. I further respond to meme critics by arguing that, despite competing (...) explanations of cultural evolution, memetics has unique explanatory power. This is largely founded upon the increasing likelihood of formulating a workable fitness measure for memes, a memetic index. I conclude that memes must be integrated with psychological bias and population-dynamic approaches to cultural evolution. (shrink)
This book aims to make the pragmatist intellectual framework accessible to organization and management scholars. It presents some fundamental concepts of Pragmatism, their potential application to the study of organizations and the resulting theoretical, methodological, and practical issues.
The focus of this paper are the ethical, legal and social challenges for ensuring the responsible use of “big brain data”—the recording, collection and analysis of individuals’ brain data on a large scale with clinical and consumer-directed neurotechnological devices. First, I highlight the benefits of big data and machine learning analytics in neuroscience for basic and translational research. Then, I describe some of the technological, social and psychological barriers for securing brain data from unwarranted access. In this context, I then (...) examine ways in which safeguards at the hardware and software level, as well as increasing “data literacy” in society, may enhance the security of neurotechnological devices and protect the privacy of personal brain data. Regarding ethical and legal ramifications of big brain data, I first discuss effects on the autonomy, the sense of agency and authenticity, as well as the self that may result from the interaction between users and intelligent, particularly closed-loop, neurotechnological devices. I then discuss the impact of the “datafication” in basic and clinical neuroscience research on the just distribution of resources and access to these transformative technologies. In the legal realm, I examine possible legal consequences that arises from the increasing abilities to decode brain states and their corresponding subjective phenomenological experiences on the hitherto inaccessible privacy of these information. Finally, I discuss the implications of big brain data for national and international regulatory policies and models of good data governance. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to discuss the “Austro-American” logical empiricism proposed by physicist and philosopher Philipp Frank, particularly his interpretation of Carnap’s Aufbau, which he considered the charter of logical empiricism as a scientific world conception. According to Frank, the Aufbau was to be read as an integration of the ideas of Mach and Poincaré, leading eventually to a pragmatism quite similar to that of the American pragmatist William James. Relying on this peculiar interpretation, Frank intended to (...) bring about a rapprochement between the logical empiricism of the Vienna Circle in exile and American pragmatism. In the course of this project, in the last years of his career, Frank outlined a comprehensive, socially engaged philosophy of science that could serve as a “link between science and philosophy”. (shrink)