Physicien théoricien, philosophe de la physique et historien des théories physiques, le savant catholique français Pierre Duhem (1861-1916) a profondément marqué la pensée du vingtième siècle. Chacun connaît le Système du monde, dont les dix volumes ont contribué à la redécouverte de la science médiévale, et La théorie physique, qui a notamment donné lieu à la célèbre «thèse Duhem-Quine». Si Clio a donc gardé de Duhem le souvenir d’un grand historien des sciences et d’un philosophe perspicace de la physique, (...) lui-même cependant n’aspirait qu’à être reconnu comme physicien. Son œuvre est en effet traversée par un projet scientifique qui consiste à ordonner et à réunir les diverses branches de la physique sous l’égide de la thermodynamique dans le cadre d’une théorie représentative et non explicative du réel. C’est ce projet que Duhem a voulu réaliser dans ses publications scientifiques, exposer dans ses écrits philosophiques, et finalement cautionner par ses recherches historiques. -/- Cependant l’investissement toujours plus important de Duhem en histoire des sciences et la présence dans son œuvre de considérations apologétiques et d’écrits patriotiques peuvent donner à penser qu’il s’est progressivement détourné de ce projet primordial au profit d’autres préoccupations. De même, les tensions qui, à l’intérieur de ce projet scientifique, subsistent entre sa volonté unificatrice et sa revendication phénoménaliste peuvent conduire à une relativisation de cette dernière, conçue comme une demande contextuelle, passagère et finalement peu significative. Sans ignorer ces préoccupations historiques, religieuses ou patriotiques, sans négliger ce conflit d’intérêt entre les deux parties constitutives du projet duhémien, cette étude entend tout d’abord réaffirmer que ce projet scientifique ne sera jamais ni abandonné, ni amputé. -/- Toutefois, dès lors que sont maintenues la permanence, la priorité et l’intégralité de ce projet, trois paradoxes surgissent immédiatement. Si Duhem se voulait avant tout physicien et souhaitait être reconnu comme tel, par quelle extravagance de l’histoire est-il finalement connu pour ses recherches historiques et ses travaux philosophiques et non pour ce qui lui tenait le plus à cœur ? S’il ne voulait être qu’un illustre physicien, pourquoi s’est-il acharné, au retour du laboratoire, à exhumer de l’oubli les manuscrits et les théories scientifiques des auteurs médiévaux ? Enfin, s’il voulait vraiment établir une physique qui soit unifiée, cohérente et parfaite, pourquoi se prive-t-il du réalisme et s’embarrasse-t-il du phénoménalisme ? Basée sur la correspondance inédite de Duhem, cette étude, centrée plus particulièrement sur ce troisième paradoxe, contribue finalement à élucider chacun d’eux. (shrink)
This paper compares Pierre Hadot’s work on the history of philosophy as a way of life to the work of Albert Camus. I will argue that in the early work of Camus, up to and including the publication of The Myth of Sisyphus, there is evidence to support the notions that, firstly, Camus also identified these historical moments as obstacles to the practice of ascesis, and secondly, that he proceeded by orienting his own work toward overcoming these obstacles, and (...) thus toward a modern rehabilitation of ascesis. Moreover, in contrast to Hadot’s Platonism, Camus located the source of this practice in the pre-philosophical stage of Athenian tragedy. This points to a further contrast between these two figures, which has historical and cultural precedents, in the distinction between this pre-Platonic form of ascesis - favoured by Camus - and the latter Christian form of asceticism - favoured by Hadot, with the status of Platonic ascesis rendered in terms of prefiguring this Christian form of asceticism. (shrink)
The relation between “presence” and “representation” is an age-old topic in the arts, but it is further complicated in our time of advanced media conditions. Pierre Huyghe is one artist who has consistently addressed questions of presence and representation throughout his artistic oeuvre, including the role of the witness within it. Considering the sophistication of Huyghe’s work with regard to the riddle of presence in the realm of contemporary means of representation, the artist’s work is taken as a case (...) study for a broad range of artists exploring related topics within the arts and the media. This paper argues that art that interrogates the question of presence within the context of contemporary media culture—from Marina Abramović to Stelarc, Jeffrey Shaw to Julia Scher—asks for being interpreted through presence theories developed within the field of media studies in addition to methods of art theory and criticism. Accordingly, Huyghe’s work is productively related to one such theory, namely the YUTPA model by Caroline Nevejan, which theorizes the interrelated concepts of natural, mediated, and witnessed presence. (shrink)
La notion de « commerce d’amour-propre » telle qu’elle a été élaborée par Pierre Nicole constitue-t-elle une sorte de préfiguration de l’utilitarisme moderne ? Il est commun de le penser. Mais c’est peut-être là faire trop peu de cas du soubassement théologique augustinien de la doctrine de Nicole. Pour analyser le problème, il convient de confronter la pensée de Nicole à celles de Pascal, de Hobbes et de saint Augustin lui-même.
Se han intentado diversas interpretaciones respecto del carácter bifronte de Pierre Charron: por un lado, un audaz divulgador de la tradición escéptica; por el otro, un entusiasta predicador y apologeta católico. Se sostiene aquí que ambas caras son expresiones de un ecléctico ánimo intelectual vinculado no sólo al escepticismo sino también a ciertas lecturas humanistas de la tradición platónica.
This dissertation develops an original interpretation of the relationship between reason and religious belief in the work of Pierre Bayle, a seventeenth-century skeptic, that I call “philosophical fideism.” The underdetermined, and often paradoxical, nature of Bayle’s writing makes interpreting him a formidable task; I therefore begin by sketching out the contemporary interpretive landscape of Bayle studies, currently deeply divided over the issue of Bayle’s conception of the reason-faith relationship. I subsequently examine other conceptions of the reason-faith relationship among rationalists (...) and skeptics of the seventeenth century, and argue that Bayle’s position on this issue is deeply influenced by his Cartesian inheritance. I argue that the central, but neglected, factor in understanding Bayle on the reason-faith question is the influence of seventeenth-century Calvinist rationalism, particularly that of Moïse Amyraut. I show how Amyraut’s tripartite distinction of revealed truths provides the framework for a central element of Bayle’s philosophical fideism, and argue that a small group of revealed truths that Bayle calls “the Christian mysteries” form the core of Bayle’s philosophical fideism. I attribute a conception of reason to Bayle that I call “qualified Academic skepticism,” in contrast to the “supersceptical” interpretation of Richard Popkin on the one hand, and the Stratonian interpretation of Gianluca Mori on the other. Finally, I explain the grounds of Bayle's claims about the erring conscience and the justification for religious toleration. Conscience plays a crucial role in Bayle’s philosophical fideism, not only epistemologically, but also morally. The erring conscience supports the interpretation of Christian mysteries as Bayle’s own religious first principles, greatly increasing the significance of Bayle's doctrine of the erring conscience. If the conscience is the source of one’s core beliefs and of their moral force, then reason, though still able to examine critically the claims of conscience, would be impotent to mitigate the moral force of the duties and rights of conscience. One cannot in good conscience, therefore, be intolerant of those who articulate alternative "first principles" since their source is the individual conscience itself. This account thus establishes a ground for religious toleration that is independent of, but compatible with, religious first principles. (shrink)
Many authors have argued that all studies of socially specific modalities of human action and experience depend on some form of “philosophical anthropology”, i.e. on a set of general assumptions about what human beings are like, assumptions without which the very diagnoses of the cultural and historical variability of concrete agents' practices would become impossible. Bourdieu was sensitive to that argument and, especially in the later phase of his career, attempted to make explicit how his historical-sociological investigations presupposed and, at (...) the same time, contributed to the elaboration of an “idea of the human being”. The article reconstructs Bourdieu's philosophical anthropology, starting with his genetic sociology of symbolic power, conceived as a form of critical theory, and concluding with an account of the conditio humana in which recognition appears as both the fundamental existential goal through which human agents strive to confer meaning on their lives and the source of the endless symbolic competition that keeps society moving. The agonistic vision of the social universe that grounds his sociological studies returns in his philosophical anthropology under the guise of a singular synthesis between Durkheim's thesis that “Society is God” and Sartre's idea that “hell is other people”. (shrink)
Bayle is famous for his defence of religious toleration. In this paper, I will call into question his main argument for toleration, his defence of the erring conscience. While it is often maintained that the argument is self-defeating, my claim will be more fundamental: His defence of the erring conscience does not even qualify as an argument for toleration in the first place, at least not for toleration as it is commonly understood. The argument has been misconceived by both Bayle (...) himself and his commentators. I will conclude by showing that this turns out to have positive effects on Bayle's other arguments for toleration, among which is a Lockean and a Rawlsian defence of toleration. (shrink)
The French philosopher and intellectual historian Pierre Hadot (1922-2010) is known primarily for his conception of philosophy as spiritual exercise, which was an essential reference for the later Foucault. An aspect of his work that has received less attention is a set of methodological reflections on intellectual history and on the relationship between philosophy and history. Hadot was trained initially as a philosopher and was interested in existentialism as well as in the convergence between philosophy and poetry. Yet he (...) chose to become a historian of philosophy and produced extensive philological work on neo-Platonism and ancient philosophy in general. He found a philosophical rationale for this shift in his encounter with Wittgenstein's philosophy in the mid-1950s (Hadot was one of Wittgenstein's earliest French readers and interpreters). For Hadot, ancient philosophy must be understood as a series of language games, and each language game must be situated within the concrete conditions in which it happened. The reference to Wittgenstein therefore supports a strongly contextualist and historicist stance. It also supports its exact opposite: presentist appropriations of ancient texts are entirely legitimate, and they are the only way ancient philosophy can be existentially meaningful to us. Hadot addresses the contradiction by embracing it fully and claiming that his own practice aims at a coincidence of opposites (a concept borrowed from the Heraclitean tradition). For Hadot the fullest and truest way of doing philosophy is to be a philosopher and a historian at the same time. (shrink)
Duhem is commonly held to have founded his view of history of science as continuous on the ‘metaphsical assertion’ of natural classification. With the help of a strict distinction between formal and material characterization of natural classification I try to show that this imputation is problematic, if not simply incorrect. My analysis opens alternative perspectives on Duhem's talk of continuity, the ideal form of theories, and the rôle of ‘bon sens’; moreover it emphasizes some aspects of Duhem's realism that play (...) an important part in his philosophy of science. (shrink)
Homo academicus propone una reflexión epistemológica de interés para investigaciones similares y para la práctica sociológica en general. En segundo lugar, propone un mapa del mundo universitario francés, de las diferentes formas de capital que lo configuran y de los diversos tipos de carrera académica. Más allá del origen nacional de su análisis, Bourdieu insiste en el valor del modelo. En tercer lugar, Bourdieu ofrece una explicación de un acontecimiento histórico que trasciende la universidad, pero en el que ésta jugó (...) un papel de primer orden. Mayo del 68 muestra cómo un acontecimiento histórico desestabiliza parcialmente el orden social existente. Este artículo interroga Homo academicus desde un punto de vista epistemológico, estructural e histórico. (shrink)
PrésentationIssues des archives du Collège de France et restées inédites jusqu’à présent, ces notes ont été prises par Pierre Bourdieu lors des réunions organisées au cours de la mobilisation de décembre 1981 après le coup d’État survenu en Pologne. Observateur critique en même temps que protagoniste du mouvement, le sociologue y livre une vision particulièrement désenchantée des luttes symboliques menées par les universitaires, les intellectuels et les syndicalistes engagés dans l’action p..
Pierre Bourdieu is one of the world's most important social theorists and is also one of the great empirical researchers in contemporary sociology. However, reading Bourdieu can be difficult for those not familiar with the French cultural context, and until now a comprehensive introduction to Bourdieu's oeuvre has not been available. David Swartz focuses on a central theme in Bourdieu's work—the complex relationship between culture and power—and explains that sociology for Bourdieu is a mode of political intervention. Swartz clarifies (...) Bourdieu's difficult concepts, noting where they have been misinterpreted by critics and where they have fallen short in resolving important analytical issues. The book also shows how Bourdieu has synthesized his theory of practices and symbolic power from Durkheim, Marx, and Weber, and how his work was influenced by Sartre, Levi-Strauss, and Althusser. _Culture and Power_ is the first book to offer both a sympathetic and critical examination of Bourdieu's work and it will be invaluable to social scientists as well as to a broader audience in the humanities. (shrink)
Pierre Bourdieu has developed a philosophy of social science, grounded in the phenomenological tradition, which treats knowledge as a practical ability embodied in skilful behaviour, rather than an intellectual capacity for the representation and manipulation of propositional knowledge. He invokes Wittgenstein’s remarks on rule-following as one way of explicating the idea that knowledge is a skill. Bourdieu’s conception of tacit knowledge is a dispositional one, adopted to avoid a perceived dilemma for methodological individualism. That dilemma requires either the explanation (...) of regularities in social behaviour as the result of the tacit representation of procedural rules (‘legalism’) or the self-conscious representation of behavioural goals (‘voluntarism’) by individuals. After explaining the apparent dilemma, I then argue that Wittgenstein’s remarks on rule following actually undermine, rather than support, a dispositional solution. Nonetheless, the philosophy of social science can survive without a dispositional account of knowledge. Such a social science needs, firstly, to embrace one horn of the dilemma, voluntarism, provided that the relevant regularities can be explained as unintended consequences of agents’ self-represented intentions. Secondly, such a social science should treat theorists’ interpretations as unifying generalizations, not hypotheses about the acquisition of tacit knowledge. Finally, where appeal to cognitive psychology can distinguish otherwise equivalent theories in social science, social science should incorporate the data of cognitive psychology concerning tacit mental processes. (shrink)
Bringing Pierre Bourdieu to Science and Technology Studies Content Type Journal Article Pages 263-273 DOI 10.1007/s11024-011-9174-2 Authors Mathieu Albert, Wilson Centre and Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, 200 Elizabeth Street , Eaton-South 1-581, Toronto, ON M5G 2C4, Canada Daniel Lee Kleinman, Department of Community and Environmental Sociology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 348 Agricultural Hall 1450 Linden Drive, Madison, WI 53706, USA Journal Minerva Online ISSN 1573-1871 Print ISSN 0026-4695 Journal Volume Volume 49 Journal Issue Volume 49, (...) Number 3. (shrink)
David Stump has recently argued that Pierre Duhem can be interpreted as a virtue epistemologist. Stump’s claims have been challenged by Milena Ivanova on the grounds that Duhem’s ‘epistemic aims’ are more modest than those of virtue epistemologists. I challenge Ivanova’s criticism of Stump by arguing that she not distinguish between ‘reliabilist’ and ‘responsibilist’ virtue epistemologies. Once this distinction is drawn, Duhem clearly emerges as a ‘virtue-responsibilist’ in a way that complements Ivanova’s positive proposal that Duhem’s ‘good sense’ reflects (...) a conception of the ‘ideal scientist’. I support my proposal that Duhem is a ‘virtue-responsibilist’ by arguing that his rejection of the possibility of our producing a ‘perfect theory’ reflects the key responsibilist virtue of ‘intellectual humility’.Keywords: David Stump; Good sense; Humility; Milena Ivanova; Pierre Duhem; Virtue epistemology. (shrink)
The practical aspect of ancient philosophy has been recently made a focus of renewed metaphilosophical investigation. After a brief presentation of three accounts of this kind developed by Martha Nussbaum, Pierre Hadot, and Michel Foucault, the model of the therapeutic argument developed by Nussbaum is called into question from the perspectives offered by her French colleagues, who emphasize spiritual exercise (Hadot) or the care of the self (Foucault). The ways in which the account of Nussbaum can be defended are (...) then discussed, including both a ‘negative’ defense, i.e. the indication of the weaknesses of Hadot and Foucault’s proposals, and a ‘positive’ one focused on the points in which Nussbaum can convincingly address doubts about her metaphilosophical account. In response to these analyses, some further remarks made by Hadot and Foucault are discussed in order to demonstrate that their accounts are not as distant from Nussbaum after all. Finally, a recent metaphilosophical study by John Sellars together with a therapeutic (medical) model developed by the author of the present article are suggested as providing a framework for potential reconciliation between all three accounts discussed and a resource for further metaphilosophical studies. (shrink)
This article argues that the failure of certain theories of reflexive identity transformation to consider more fully issues connected to gender identity leads to an overemphasis on the expressive possibilities thrown up by processes of detraditionalization. By ignoring certain deeply embedded aspects, some theories of reflexive change reproduce the `disembodied and disembedded' subject of masculinist thought. The issues of disembodiment and disembeddedness are explored through a study of the work of Pierre Bourdieu on `habitus' and the `field'. The idea (...) of habitus yields a more dynamic theory of embodiment central to a feminist understanding of gender identity as a durable but not immutable norm. The idea of the `field' provides a more differentiated analysis of the social context in which the reflexive transformation of gender identity unfolds. This in turn offers a way of thinking of possible transformations within gender identity as uneven and non-synchronous phenomena. (shrink)
Offered here is the first comprehensive treatment in English of the philosophical system of the seventeenth century philosopher Pierre Gassendi. Gassendi's importance is widely recognized and is essential for understanding early modern philosophers and scientists such as Locke, Leibniz and Newton. Offering a systematic overview of his contributions, LoLordo situates Gassendi's views within the context of sixteenth and early seventeenth century natural philosophy as represented by a variety of intellectual traditions, including scholastic Aristotelianism, Renaissance Neo-Platonism, and the emerging mechanical (...) philosophy. LoLordo's work will be essential reading for historians of early modern philosophy and science. (shrink)
This volume explores the sociological legacy of the late Pierre Bourdieu through an examination of the intellectual division between his reception in the world of French social sciences and his reception in the Anglophone world.
This paper addresses a central interpretive problem in understanding Pierre Duhem's philosophy of science. The problem arises because there is textual support for both realist and antirealist readings of his work. I argue that his realist and antirealist claims are different. For Duhem, scientific reasoning leads straight to antirealism. But intuition (reasons of the heart) motivates, without justifying, a kind of realism. I develop this idea to suggest a motivational realist interpretation of Duhem's philosophy.
Pierre Bourdieu is now recognized as one of the key contemporary critics of culture and the visual arts. Art Rules analyses Bourdieu's work on the visual arts to provide the first overview of his theory of culture and aesthetics. Bourdieu's engagement with both postmodernism and the problem of aesthetics provides a new way of analyzing the visual arts. His interest is in how artistic fields function and the implications their processes have for art and artistic practice. Art Rules applies (...) Bourdieu's theory of practice to the three fields of museums, photography and painting. These practical examples are used as a springboard to address visual arts in the 21st Century and to establish Bourdieu's rules of art. (shrink)
ONE of the most celebrated mathematical physicists, Pierre-Simon Laplace is often remembered as the mathematician who showed that despite appearances, the Solar System does conform to Newton’s theories. Together with distinguished scholars Robert Fox and Ivor Grattan-Guinness, Charles Gillispie gives us a new perspective, showing that Laplace did not merely vindicate Newton’s system, but had a uniquely creative and independent mind.
Chemists do not interpret the world in various ways; their point is to change it. This variation on Karl Marx’ Feuerbach thesis came to my mind while reading the new Philosophy of Chemistry volume.The 11th thesis originally sounds like this: “Philosophers have hitherto only interpreted the world in various ways; the point is to change it”. The thick book contains more than forty studies related to the relatively new field. In this short review, it would be too much even to (...) list all the authors and subjects touched in these pages. The volume was originally intended to be the proceedings of a workshop held in Paris in 2010, but the organizer and editor, Jean-Pierre Llored, also invited authors who had not participated in the conference to contribute a paper. The papers are organized under seven subtitles, such as “Historical Approaches”, “Analytical Approaches”, “Transcendental Approaches” and others, but the material is much richer than the grouping would suggest.The editor’s idea was t. (shrink)
Contrary to what might be expected given a religious or other motivation, Pierre Duhem's interest in mediaeval science was the result of his surprise encounter with Jordanus de Nemore while working on Les origines de la statique in the late autumn of 1903. Historical assumptions common among physicists at that time may explain this surprise, which occasioned a frantic search for more mediaeval precursors for Renaissance mechanics. It also raised serious historiographical problems that threatened even his methodological views, until (...) they were resolved in his To save the phenomena of 1908. (shrink)
The essay "Physique de croyant" is an important statement of Pierre Duhem's position on the relation between his science and his religion. Duhem trod a difficult path, some might say an impossible one, in Republican France because he was both a physicist and a devout Catholic. In this essay, using "Physique de croyant" as a touchstone, I explore the way in which he tried to reconcile his conflicting allegiances. There are several strands in Duhem's strategy that need to be (...) teased out. First, Duhem sought to defend his science against the charge that it was materialist and atheist. He did this with his claim, usually called the autonomy thesis, that physics and metaphysics are fundamentally different enterprises—that physics, properly conducted, has no metaphysical implications and requires no metaphysical support. This did not deny metaphysics its rightful territory. Second, Duhem used his segregationist position to defend the Roman Catholic Church against the assaults of the positivist scientism then in favor with the Republicans. Third, he also sought to protect his science against fellow Catholics who wanted to use it for polemical purposes. I develop and evaluate these lines of defense. (shrink)