This essay complements Roberto Esposito’s analysis of the political category of the person by outlining the role of literature, and especially the genre of the novel, in consolidating this category and allowing it to do its political and affective work. The essay shows how Ben Lerner’s 2014 novel 10:04 dismantles three central features of the traditional novel’s poetics of the person: its investment in the notion of literary character, its use of fictionality, and its structural reliance on the narrative future. (...) Lerner’s novel, like Esposito’s biopolitical work, aims to overcome the hierarchical divisions within human life that are endemic to the category of the person and that have historically fostered biopolitical violence. Both projects intimate a less destructive politics—what Lerner calls “the transpersonal” and Esposito “the impersonal.”. (shrink)
Recent research suggests that human memories are stored not between neurons as synaptic weights, but within individual neurons themselves. This opens the possibility to replace the dominant paradigm of brain function – neural networks – with a new one. In this article, I explore how “identified neurons” could explain how memories are stored, and how human traits are implemented in the brain.
The rise and fall of spectators performing “the wave” in a football stadium offers an analogy for how brain waves ripple across the cortex and lower brain. In both, the underlying actors (humans, neurons) serve multiple roles.
In this paper a semantics for dynamic predicate logic is developed that uses sequence valued assignments. This semantics is compared with the usual relational semantics for dynamic predicate logic: it is shown that the most important intuitions of the usual semantics are preserved. Then it is shown that the refined semantics reflects out intuitions about information growth. Some other issues in dynamic semantics are formulated and discussed in terms of the new sequence semantics.
This article focuses on the politics of memory and forgetting after Auschwitz and apartheid. In the first two sections Habermas' critical contribution to the German Historikerstreit is discussed. Important in this regard is the moral dimension of our relation to the past. In the next two sections the emphasis shifts to South Africa and more specifically the work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC). The article ends with a general discussion of the dilemma of historical 'truth' and representation in (...) contemporary societies. Key Words: apartheid Habermas Historikerstreit history South Africa. (shrink)
This article discusses the lack of inclusive language in the Liedboek van die kerk, which still remains the official hymnal of the Afrikaans Reformed churches in South Africa. Because there seems to be a general misconception about inclusive language, especially in this particular religious context, I will argue that the use of inclusive language will not only help to counteract the current identity crisis the church is experiencing, but will also reflect Christ's theology of inclusivity during his time on earth. (...) A broader understanding of the God image, rooted in biblical hermeneutics, is imperative and should be incorporated in the text of the Afrikaans hymn. I will argue that this inclusive spirituality may also lead to greater spiritual well-being of all Christians in the Afrikaans Reformed churches. This paper is critical qualitative research and arguments from the feminist theology will be interpreted and applied to the Afrikaans context. (shrink)
Abstract Forty male and female adults responded to two forms of Kohlberg's test??one in the standard third?person form, and the other imagining themselves as the protagonists in Kohlberg's dilemmas. Females obtained slightly lower moral maturity scores than males across both forms, but there were no sex differences in moral orientation. There were no significant effects for the perspective from which Kohlberg's test was taken, on either moral maturity or moral orientation. Care?oriented moral judgements were more prevalent in dilemmas involving life (...) vs. law conflicts than in dilemmas involving conscience vs. punishment conflicts. Subjects did not consistently make either care? or justice?oriented moral judgements. There was a significant negative correlation between the frequency of care?oriented judgements and moral maturity for males, but not for females. Although these results are partially consistent with the possibility that Kohlberg's test and scoring system are biased against females, they do not support the assumption that females make more care?oriented moral judgements than males on Kohlberg's test, or, indeed, that members of either sex display enough consistency in care?and justice?based moral judgements on Kohlberg's test for such judgements to serve as the basis of moral orientations. (shrink)
In this paper we discuss the treatment of variables in dynamic semantics. Referent systems are introduced as a flexible mechanism for working with variables. In a referent system we carefully distinguish the variables themselves both from the machinery by which we manipulate them - their names - and from the information that we store in them - their values. It is shown that the referent systems provide a natural basis for dynamic semantics. The semantics with referent systems is compared with (...) the familiar formalisms in dynamic semantics, DRT and DPL. (shrink)
What if subconscious brain processes are actually independent consciousnesses, each resembling an independent advisor whispering advice to the main consciousness, or “I”? This multi-consciousness model would support free will, as our choices are informed by other consciousnesses, not the subconscious. Each independent consciousness allows a movable perspective through its rich representation of the world and constantly seeks harmony and resonance between its internal concepts, other consciousnesses, external reality, and the genetic worm hole to the evolutionary past.
In this paper we describe a framework for the construction of entities that can serve as interpretations of arbitrary contiguous chunks of text. An important part of the paper is devoted to describing stacking cells, or the proposed meanings for bracket-structures.
The development of the dynamic semantics of natural languagehas put issues of variable control on the agenda of formal semantics. Inthis paper we regard variables as names for stacks of values and makeexplicit several control actions as push and pop actions on stacks. Weapply this idea both to static and dynamic languages and compare theirfinite variable hierarchies, i.e., the relation between the number ofvariable stacks that is available and the expressivity of the language.This can be compared in natural languages with (...) relating the number ofpronouns available to the expressivity of the language.The results are obtained using techniques from static and dynamic modeltheory: model theoretic games, transition systems and bisimulation. (shrink)
The notion of exemplification is essential for Goodman’s theory of symbols. But Goodman’s account of exemplification has been criticized as unclear and inadequate. He points out two conditions for an object x exemplifying a label y: (C1) y denotes x and (C2) x refers to y. While (C1) is uncontroversial, (C2) raises the question of how “refers to” should be interpreted. This problem is intertwined with three further questions that consequently should be discussed together with it. Are the two necessary (...) conditions (C1) and (C2) conjointly sufficient? Do they amount to a definition of “exemplification”? Which notions of Goodman’s theory are basic, and hence undefined? In this paper, we address these questions and defend a reconstruction of the notion of exemplification that interprets “refers to” in (C2) as exemplificational reference and hence treats “exemplification” as a basic notion of Goodman’s theory. Firstly, we argue that even though the notion of exemplification is not defined, it is still sufficiently clear. This ensures its contribution to Goodman’s theory of symbols. Secondly, we show that our account is plausible as an interpretation of Goodman’s and Elgin’s writings, although it implies that some of Goodman’s theorems about self-reference have to be weakened. Thirdly, we argue that it is the only materially adequate reconstruction of Goodman’s notion of exemplification, whereas the alternative definitional accounts fail. (shrink)
This paper is concerned with the structure of texts in which aproof is presented. Some parts of such a text are assumptions, otherparts are conclusions. We show how the structural organisation of thetext into assumptions and conclusions helps to check the validity of theproof. Then we go on to use the structural information for theformulation of proof rules, i.e., rules for the (re-)construction ofproof texts. The running example is intuitionistic propositional logicwith connectives , and. We give new proofs of some (...) familiar results aboutthe proof theory of this logic to indicate how the new techniques workout. (shrink)
In this essay I consider the device of depthlessness in film. I am interested in particular in the ways in which this device can determine, or at least raise questions about, the nature of the fictional world. Taking my cue from two films from the turn of the century – Gary Ross' 1998 film Pleasantville and Matthieu Kassovitz' 1995 La Haine – as well as, more broadly, arts historical and cultural theoretical debates, where rather more attention has been devoted to (...) the issue of depthlessness, I focus on moments in which depth, that is, in Andre Bazin's oft-cited words, the “continuity” of the fictional realm, is flattened so as to trace the correlation between depthlessness and the ontology of the fictional world. The two strategies I look at are shallow focus and the dolly zoom. What I intend, here, is to offer some first, superficial, reflections that may allow us to begin thinking about this cinematic notion of the depthless as a device and concept in its own right, with its own ration... (shrink)
In 2016, I published an article in which I explained the purpose and benefits of using inclusive and expansive language in the Afrikaans Dutch Reformed Church's hymns which, to this day, remain notably exclusive in gender references and when addressing God. I hoped that my article would inspire the workgroup responsible for the creation of new Afrikaans hymns to consider the possibilities and advantages of inclusive language. When I submitted a new melody and text to said workgroup earlier this year, (...) the melody was accepted, but the text rejected on grounds that it was seen as a 'forced adaptation of how the Father chooses to reveal himself to us'. This blatant and continuing aversion to incorporate some form of inclusive or expansive language in their hymns, despite my research article I sent them, lead me to investigate this apparent opposition in the DRC context even further. After exploring the comparative stance of the three biggest reformed churches in America with regard to inclusive and expansive language, I come to the conclusion that the DRC's reservation towards inclusive and expansive language cannot be explained on sober theological objections alone. In fact, I show that these reservations are the direct consequence of protecting the interests of the church's ingroup, the heterosexual white male. I identify this ingroup based on the discriminatory way the DRC treated women, non-whites and the LGBTIQ community in the recent past. I conclude that when a church continues to protect and promote the interests of an exclusive ingroup the use of inclusive language in their songs of faith would indeed seem to be 'forced'. The title refers to Mary Daly's statement in 1973: 'If God is male then the male is god.'. (shrink)
Topic of this paper is the way in which the structure of events features in discourse. We focus on the structure as introduced by verbs that express some sense of progress. First it is shown by means of examples that this structure is anaphorically available in discourse. Then we go on to discuss the different ways in which the same event may be structured within one discourse situation. We give formal representations of the crucial examples in many-sorted dynamic logic.
We argue that the meaning of smiles is interpreted from physical/contextual cues, and simulation may simply reinforce the information derived from these cues. We suggest that, contrary to the claim of the SIMS model, positive and negative smiles may invoke similar simulation processes. Finally, we provide alternative explanations for the role of eye contact in the processing of smiles.
We consider substitutions in order sensitive situations, having in the back of our minds the case of dynamic predicate logic (DPL) with a stack semantics. We start from the semantic intuition that substitutions are move instructions on stacks: the syntactic operation [y/x] is matched by the instruction to move the value of the y-stack to the x-stack. We can describe these actions in the positive fragment of DPLE. Hence this fragment counts as a logic for DPL-substitutions. We give a calculus (...) for the fragment and prove soundness and completeness. (shrink)
We describe and analyse how large herbivores strongly diminished a woody vegetation, dominated by the unpalatable shrub Sambucus nigra L. and changed it into grassland. Density of woody species and cover of vegetation were measured in 1996, 2002 and 2012 in the grazed Oostvaardersplassen. In 2002 and 2012 we also measured density and cover in an ungrazed control site. In 2002 we measured intensity of browsing and bark loss of Sambucus shrubs in the grazed and control sites. In the grazed (...) site the density of Sambucus and Salix spp. declined significantly between 1996 and 2012, and large areas changed into grassland. In the control site the density of Sambucus increased significantly during this period, the density of Salix spp. did not change, and the vegetation consisted of a mixture of woody species and a field layer dominated by tall herbs. In 2002 and 2012 the percentages of dead Sambucus shrubs were significantly higher in the grazed site than in the control site. In 2002 the percentages of twigs browsed and ring barked stems of Sambucus shrubs were significantly higher in the grazed site than in the control site. Our results show that debarking caused mature Sambucus shrubs to die, but that heavy browsing may have helped this process. Our results also point to a significant neighbour effect on the break down of Sambucus, suggesting that Aggregational Resistance and Associational Palatability were both active. Essential conditions for the break down of this woody vegetation were the presence of large herbivores, the low ratio between the areas of summer and winter feeding habitats and the competition amongst herbivores. Browsing may have been responsible for seedling death, as seedlings were found only in the control site and not on the old and newly established grasslands in the grazed site. (shrink)