New concepts may prove necessary to profit from the avalanche of sequence data on the genome, transcriptome, proteome and interactome and to relate this information to cell physiology. Here, we focus on the concept of large activity-based structures, or hyperstructures, in which a variety of types of molecules are brought together to perform a function. We review the evidence for the existence of hyperstructures responsible for the initiation of DNA replication, the sequestration of newly replicated origins of replication, cell division (...) and for metabolism. The processes responsible for hyperstructure formation include changes in enzyme affinities due to metabolite-induction, lipid-protein affinities, elevated local concentrations of proteins and their binding sites on DNA and RNA, and transertion. Experimental techniques exist that can be used to study hyperstructures and we review some of the ones less familiar to biologists. Finally, we speculate on how a variety of in silico approaches involving cellular automata and multi-agent systems could be combined to develop new concepts in the form of an Integrated cell (I-cell) which would undergo selection for growth and survival in a world of artificial microbiology. (shrink)
Cet article se propose de situer le livre Situation de la France (2015) de Pierre Manent dans le débat contemporain sur la gestion de la diversité religieuse, et ce, à partir de deux principales thèses interprétatives. La première thèse est que le modèle de Manent s’appuie sur une forme de collectivisme méthodologique. La seconde thèse est que la place que Manent accorde au discours religieux dans la « conversation civique » est justifiée par une volonté de faire contrepoids à (...) la primauté qui est généralement accordée au discours des droits de la personne dans les sociétés libérales contemporaines. (shrink)
This essay is a reappraisal of Pierre Hadot's concept of spiritual exercises in response to recent criticisms of his work. The author argues that contrary to the claims of his critics, Hadot articulates a compelling argument that spiritual exercises that employ imaginative, rhetorical, and cognitive techniques are both necessary for and successful at producing a subject in which reason is integrated into human character. Such exercises are critical for overcoming the effects of habit, as a result of which everyday (...) conduct resists rational control, and Hadot provides a nuanced account of how particular practices affect different aspects of emotion, behavior, and thought. The concept of spiritual exercises remains a viable component of theoretical frameworks for the study of religious ethics, though the author concludes that Hadot's position on habit and its role in ethical practice requires further investigation. (shrink)
_ Source: _Volume 56, Issue 1-2, pp 126 - 175 The famous _Epistola Luciferi_, written in late 1351 or early 1352, caused quite a stir in the Avignon of Pope Clement VI, quickly became a medieval best-seller, and thereafter remained topical, being copied and printed down to the present day. Traditionally ascribed to Nicole Oresme or Henry of Langenstein, the letter was attributed to the Cistercian Pierre Ceffons by Damasus Trapp in 1957. Trapp merely took Ceffons’ authorship for granted, (...) however, and in the most thorough study of the _Epistola Luciferi_ and of the entire genre of Devil’s letters, her 1982 PhD dissertation, Helen C. Feng rejected the attribution. Presenting codices and works of Ceffons of which Trapp was unaware, this article argues in favor of Ceffons’ responsibility for the _Epistola Luciferi_, while offering a new critical edition of the letter, an English translation, and a supplemental list of manuscripts and editions. (shrink)
The article reconstructs the diffusion of the ideas of the Scottish philosophical school (Reid, Smith, Stewart) in France in the early nineteenth century and the role played by the Geneva philosopher Pierre Prevost. Prevost emphasizes the originality of the Scottish school compared with the French and German school in his writing “Reflections after my translation of the posthumous works of Adam Smith” of 1797. From at least 1792 already Prevost had begun a correspondence with Dugald Stewart, which lasted until (...) the death of the latter in 1828. About twenty letters of Stewart to Prevost are preserved in Geneva. Through the mediation of Prevost the Scottish Enlighteners influenced the development of French philosophy from Ideology towards Eclecticism (Degérando, Pictet, Royer-Collard, Cousin). (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 article is about a course of dialectic in Latin language that Pierre Prevost (1751-1839) had prepared for the use of the students of the Académie de Genève. This document testifies to the reception of the Scottish philosophy, especially of Reid, by Prevost. On the model of the Logique de Port-Royal the course is articulated in a part on the art of exposing truths already reached (the dialectic properly speaking: ideas, judgements, reasoning) and in a part on the discovery (...) of new truths (the logic: truth, error and method). It is especially in this second part, under the rubrics of truth and error, that Reid’s influence is to be found: the criterion of truth is common sense, which bases certainty and recognizes the evidence; errors stem from the limits of common sense. (shrink)
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)
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.
The letters published here belong to the ‘Fonds Pierre Prevost’ held by the Library of Geneva. Our presentation of the letters is modelled on that of the published correspondences of Adam Smith and Thomas Reid. Our aim in transcribing the letters that follow has been to establish a clean and reliable text with minimal editorial intervention. We have made no attempt to normalise the spellings, capitalisation, and apparently aberrant usage found in the letters or to modernise the punctuation, and (...) we have not expanded the contractions that occur in the original texts. However, Prevost’s contractions in Letters 13 and 15 are likely to provide major problems for most readers, and we have therefore added an appendix in which these contractions have been written out. (shrink)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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..
This look at Gassendi’s philosophy and science illuminates his contributions to early modern thought and to the broader history of philosophy of science. Two keys to his thought are his novel picture of acquiring and judging empirical belief, and his liberal account of criteria for counting empirical beliefs as parts of warranted physical theories. By viewing his philosophical and scientific pursuits as part of one and the same project, Gassendi’s arguments on behalf of atomism can be fruitfully explained as licensed (...) by his empiricism. (shrink)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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.