Investigation into the history of the Talmud was sparked by the Karaite rebellion against the authority of the Talmud at the beginning of the eighth century. The most influential work of Talmudic chronology is the Iggeret de-Rav Sherira Gaon , composed in 986, which sought to explain how the Mishnah and the Talmud were compiled, and demonstrate the unbroken chain of the tradition. Maimonides gives a summary of the history of the tradition in his Commentary to the Mishnah. Although Maimonides' (...) reconstruction is an artificial one, with no attempt to verify sources or test their reliability, he stated that the Babylonian Talmud was compiled about one hundred years after the Jerusalem Talmud; in cases of disagreement, therefore, the rulings of the Babylonian Talmud were the ones adopted by the post-Talmudic Halakhah. The French glossators, or Tosafists, argued that a law in the Talmud could be changed when the original circumstances in which it was promulgated were no longer evident. More objective, critical historical accounts have been given by more modern scholars, particularly Yon Tov Lippmann Heller, Jeheil Heilprin, and Hayyim Joseph David Agulai. (shrink)
This afterword extends and refines the arguments presented in Cohen and Jacobs . The main point made by the authors is that the antidepressant randomized controlled trial world is a make-believe world in which researchers act as if a bona fide medical experiment is being conducted. From the assumed existence of the “disorder” and the assumed homogeneity of the treatment groups, through the validity of rating scales and the meaning of their scores, to the presentations of researchers’ ratings as (...) the genuine outcome of interest — all aspects of such trials are make-believe. The continued acceptance of randomized controlled trials as appropriate mechanisms to ascertain the actual effects of psychoactive drugs on human beings in distress confirms that researchers are inextricably dependent on large-scale organizational and financial interests that require the sustained production of make-believe results about psychoactive drugs. (shrink)
GJ: We've talked a lot about critics who are hostile toward you. Do you ever feel the need to make a stand against those who are favourably inclined toward your plays but whose comments seem to you to be stupid? EI: Well, for better or worse, that's what I've always done: I wrote Notes and Counter-Notes, had discussions with Claude Bonnefoy, I've written articles; and in each case what I've said, in short, is that critics who gave me their approval, (...) did so because they misunderstood me and were mistaken about my intentions. GJ: Finally, are you at all bitter about the critics? EI: No. Many have become good friends of mine. But it is a bit disheartening; when I began, a critic who, shall we say, is on the Right, a conservative critic who is very well-known and has since become a friend of mine, called me an impostor, a fraud, and a dummy; and now, twenty-five years later, the Leftists still call me an impostor, a fraud, and a dummy. GJ: But less often? EI: Well, I suppose so. Eugene Ionesco, renowned by playwright , recently was awarded the International Writer's Prize by the Welsh Arts Council. While in Wales, he was interviewed by Gabriel Jacobs, lecturer in French at University College of Swansea; the interview represents Ionesco's most concerted attempt yet to deal with his critics. He is completing a book on the subject which Gabriel Jacobs will translate into English. (shrink)
The philosophy of pattern cladism has been variously explained by reference to the work of Louis Agassiz. The present study analyzes Agassiz's attempt to combine an empirical approach to the study of nature with an idealistic philosophy. From this emerges the problem of empiricism and of the isomorphy between the order of nature and human thinking. The analysis of the writings of Louis Agassiz serves as the basis for discussion of the reality of natural groups as postulated by (...) pattern cladists. (shrink)
This article seeks to examine how religious ideas that are not the focus of a particular halakhic question become the crux of the ruling, thereby molding it and dictating its bias. We will attempt to demonstrate this through a study of Jewish medical ethics, based on some of the rulings of one of the greatest halakhic decisors of the previous generation: Rabbi Eliezer Yehuda Waldenberg (1915–2006). Rabbi Waldenberg molds his rulings on the basis of a religious principle asserting (...) that the legitimacy of any medical procedure is qualified and limited. Rabbi Waldenberg rejects certain accepted medical practices, including plastic surgery, in vitro fertilization, and organ transplants. Even if these procedures are regarded by other halakhic decisors as being legitimate, for Rabbi Waldenberg they are ethically and religiously improper, and therefore they are halakhically forbidden. (shrink)
The reputations of scientists among their contemporaries depend not only on accomplishment, but also on interactions affected by influence and personality. The historical lore of most fields of scientific endeavor preserve these reputations, often through the identification of founders, innovators, and prolific workers whose contributions are considered fundamental to progress in the field. Historians frequently rely on the historical lore of scientists to guide their studies of the development of ideas, exhibiting justifiable caution in reassessing reputations in the light of (...) current knowledge. However, the transmission of historical lore can obscure the relative importance of accomplishment, influence and personality in shaping contemporary reputations, leaving the historian to either accept reputations at face value or attempt to reconstruct the context in which they were created. The science of taxonomy, because of its rules of priority, leaves a relatively accurate record of historical accomplishment through the persistence of taxa in catalogues and faunal guides. These records allow the modern historian an unbiased means to assess the relative accomplishments of historical figures and therefore a means to critically reassess reputations independent of personality and influence. In the historical lore of North American ichthyology, Louis Agassiz at Harvard and Spencer Baird at the Smithsonian emerge as central figures in the early development of the field during the mid-1800s, contributing not only through the quality and quantity of their science, but also through their roles as institutional leaders and mentors to workers who followed. Charles Girard, originally a student of Agassiz's and later a coworker with Baird, receives little notice in the history of ichthyology, and his reputation is that of a minor player in the initial description of the North American fish fauna, and one whose work appears to have been flawed or even careless when compared to his contemporaries. However, a review of both contemporary and modern taxonomic works reveals that Girard's productivity far exceeded that of either Agassiz or Baird. Furthermore, an examination of the tendency of Girard and his contemporaries to introduce synonymous names into the literature, which might reflect careless or uncritical work, suggests that Girard was among the more accomplished workers of his era, including Agassiz and Baird. Girard's low ranking in the folklore of North American ichthyology, therefore, can not be attributed to discernible shortcomings in his scientific work, but rather to a public and private campaign of criticism waged by Agassiz after Girard's departure from Harvard. While Agassiz's dispute with Girard stemmed from their personal interactions, he expressed them as criticisms of Girard's work, and thus helped shape Girard's scientific reputation as it has been transmitted through the lore of ichthyology. This case study reveals how scientific reputation may not always rest on accomplishment, but can be influenced by personal interactions obscured by time but nonetheless important to history. (shrink)
Harris and Brokmeyer met in 1858 at the St. Louis Mercantile Library, where Harris was offering a public lecture. Brokmeyer convinced Harris of the significance of Hegel’s system, and its relevance to the historical trends of American society. They immediately joined forces, attracting a number of other youthful followers with intellectual ambitions, many of whom were, like Harris, teachers in the public schools. The nascent Hegelian movement was temporarily stalled when Brokmeyer went off to serve as a Colonel in (...) the Union Army during the Civil War, but it rebounded in full force upon his return with the formation of the St. Louis Philosophical Society in 1866, and the launching of the Journal of Speculative Philosophy, the official organ of the Society, in 1867. (shrink)
Reviews: William S. Lewis, Louis Althusser and the Traditions of French Marxism ; Louis Althusser, Philosophy of the Encounter: Later Writings, 1978—1987 ; Alain Badiou, Infinite Thought: Truth and the Return to Philosophy ; Alain Badiou, Metapolitics ; Slavoj Žižek , Lacan: The Silent Partners.
This essay examines Harriet Jacobs’s Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl in light of new archival findings on the medical practices of Dr. James Norcom . While critics have sharply defined the feminist politics of Jacobs’s sexual victimization and resistance, they have overlooked her medical experience in slavery and her participation in reform after escape. I argue that Jacobs uses the rhetoric of a woman-led health reform movement underway during the 1850s to persuade her readers (...) to end slavery. This essay reconstructs both contexts, revealing that Jacobs links enslaved women’s physical and sexual vulnerability with her female readers’ fears of male doctors’ threats to modesty and of their standard bleed-and-purge treatments. Jacobs illustrates that slavery damages women’s health as much as heroic medicine, and thus merits the political activism of her readers. Specifically, Jacobs dramatizes her conflicts with the rapacious physician-master at moments that are crucial to women’s health: marriage, pregnancy, childbirth, and motherhood. Ultimately, this essay advances a new understanding of the role of health reform in social change: it galvanized other movements such as women’s rights and abolition, particularly around issues of bodily autonomy for women and African Americans. (shrink)
In eighteenth-century French natural history, the notion of preformation was not only a model for a small preexisting embryo that gradually extended its shape through the influx of particles, but also for an order that coordinated the dynamic relation between organic parts. Preformation depended therefore also on a hidden order behind the continuity of visible forms. Louis Bourguet, Charles Bonnet, and Georges Cuvier distinguished three organizational levels: First, the synchronic or functional order of organic systems; second, the diachronic order (...) of the initiation of mechanical processes; and third, the hierarchical order that regulates the interaction of organic parts. In this essay, I reconstruct and compare the three organizational levels in the writings of Bourguet, Bonnet and Cuvier, relate their models of organic unity to the principle of perfection, and contrast these models with Georges Buffon's critique of system theories. (shrink)
Louis de La Forge and the Development of Occasionalism: Continuous Creation and the Activity of the Soul STEVEN NADLER THE DOCTRINE OF DIVINE CONSERVATION is a dangerous one. It is not theologi- cally dangerous, at least not in itself. From the thirteenth century onwards, and particularly with the Summa Theologiae of St. Thomas, the notion of the continuous divine sustenance of the world of created things was, if not univer- sally accepted, a nonetheless common feature of theological orthodoxy, Chris- (...) tian and otherwise. Rather, the danger is philosophical in nature . The philosophical problem I am concerned with is not some logical incoherence at the heart of the doctrine; nor does it lie in any objections that can be raised against the arguments that, historically, have been given for the thesis that God, as a causa secundum esse, must continually act in order to conserve the world in being. The question I address -- and it is a pressing one for any seventeenth-century Cartesianmis whether the doctrine of divine conservation establishes too much. I believe that, under certain circumstances, it does, and that the ultimate ramifications of the doctrine for natural causality must be unacceptable to an orthodox Cartesian such as Louis de La Forge , perhaps the most strict follower of Descartes of the.. (shrink)
This essay reconstructs the intellectual development of the philosopher of history Louis O. Mink Jr, in order to illuminate the philosophical background to in American historical epistemology. From around 1970, Mink was a prominent and influential defender of the view that historical narratives were imaginative constructions rather than representations of past actuality. This has since been understood as a characteristically postmodern view. Mink's wider sensibility, however, is better described as modernist than postmodernist. The crucial context for his philosophy was (...) a hostility to going back to his graduate years at Yale, and his epistemological views were of a piece with a defence of historical understanding as both distinctive and valuable. In both respects Mink was influenced by the philosophy of R. G. Collingwood, while he was himself an important influence on Hayden White. Mink's case therefore helps bridge the gap between interwar and later twentieth-century versions of Anglophone historical contructivism, while drawing attention to some cultural contexts in which the development of both modernist and postmodernist views of historiography must be understood. (shrink)
Historians of science have only just begun to sample the wealth of different approaches to the study of animal behavior undertaken in the twentieth century. To date, more attention has been given to Lorenzian ethology and American behaviorism than to other work and traditions, but different approaches are equally worthy of the historian's attention, reflecting not only the broader range of questions that could be asked about animal behavior and the "animal mind" but also the different contexts in which these (...) questions were important. One such approach is that represented by the work of the French zoologist Louis Boutan (1859-1934). This paper explores the intellectual and cultural history of Boutan's work on animal language and the animal mind, and contextualizes the place of animal behavior studies within late-nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century French biology. I explore the ways in which Boutan addressed the philosophical issue of whether language was necessary for abstract thought and show how he shifted from the idea that animals were endowed with a purely affective language to the notion that of they were capable of "rudimentary" reasoning. I argue that the scientific and broader socio-cultural contexts in which Boutan operated played a role in this transition. Then I show how Boutan's linguistic and psychological experiments with a gibbon and children provide insights into his conception of "naturalness." Although Boutan reared his gibbon at home and studied it in the controlled environment of his laboratory, he continued to identify its behavior as "natural." I specifically demonstrate the importance of the milieu of the French Third Republic in shaping Boutan's understanding not only of animal intelligence and child education, but also his definition of nature. Finally, I argue that Boutan's studies on the primate mind provide us with a lens through which we can examine the co-invention of animal and child psychology in early-twentieth-century France. (shrink)
On August 19, 1297, a young man of royal heritage died in the household of the Count of Provence and King of Naples at Brignoles, a short distance from Marseille. The young man was Louis of Anjou, a Franciscan friar and Bishop of Toulouse, who had renounced his inheritance and claim to the Kingdom of Naples to pursue a religious vocation. Only twenty-three years old when he died, Louis nevertheless had long been inspired by Franciscan spirituality, and less (...) than eight months before had realized his dream of professing vows within the Order of Friars Minor at the same time that he submitted to consecration as Bishop of Toulouse. In March of the following year, Peter of John Olivi, a native son of .. (shrink)
Principal aspects of Louis de Broglie's conception of science are here considered: requirement of clear representations in space and time, allowing a real “world-picture,” a search for causal laws behind statistical rules and the, final submission to experiment, which can only be questionned by theoretical imagination.
In a careful exposition of French Marxism, William Lewis places Althusser and his thought alongside the pre- and post-war French communist intellectual climate: the result is an excellent and unique work. Part theoretical treatise on some of Althusser's more complicated and less explored ideas, part intellectual history, Louis Althusser and the Traditions of French Marxism is, in total, an important text for philosophy, French and francophone studies, political thought, cultural studies, marxist thought, and several other disciplines interested in the (...) intellectual life and times of the twientieth century. (shrink)
En este trabajo se cuestiona la opinión dada a menudo de acuerdo con la que la economía política se separa de la moralidad en los escritos de Adam Smith y su escuela. Según esta vieja idea, fuertemente defendida en el libro de Louis Dumont, From MandeVille to Marx los grandes economistas clásicos ingleses pensaron que en el espacio económico los hombres podían seguir exclusivamente su propio interés sin ninguna referencia a las reglas morales. Se muestra que esto es estrictamente (...) lo contrario de lo que en realidad dijeron. Así, en La riqueza de las naciones, Smith escribe que en el sistema de la libertad natural que propugna: "Todo hombre, mientras que no viole las leyes de justicia, es totalmente libre de perseguir su propio interés"- Aparentemente Dumont no conoce esta doctrina o no sabe que para Smith la "justicia" es una de las cuatro virtudes cardinales y que las reglas que prescribe son las más precisas y la parte más importante de la moralidad, sin las que una sociedad pacífica y próspera no puede existir. De ahí que se critiquen algunas otras opiniones populares que Dumont recoge también de acuerdo con las que se supone que los economistas clásicos ingleses han creído que el interés del individuo nunca se contradice con el interés público y que el Estado nunca debería intervenir. 5e concluye con Lionel Robbins "Identificar tales doctrinas con las ideas declaradas y fácilmente accesibles de los economistas clásicos constituye un signo cierto de ignorancia o maldad". (shrink)
This article examines ethical themes in the works of the celebrated writer on urban affairs, Jane Jacobs. Jacobs' early works on cities develop an implicit, 'ecological' conception of the human good, one that connects it closely with economic and political goals while emphasizing the intrinsic good of the community formed in pursuit of those goals. Later works develop an explicit ethics, arguing that governing and trading require two different schemes of values and virtues. While Jacobs intended this (...) ethics to apply to all forms of productive activity, it is particularly illuminating when applied to her own urban ideas and activism. (shrink)
An account of the contributions of Louis de Broglie to the quantum theory of measurement processes is presented. It being impracticable to cover all research work done by de Broglie and his School about this matter, stress is put on the refutation of von Neumann's theorem, on the alternative description arising from the double solution theory, and on some critical analysis of the usually accepted formalism.
The development of Louis Mink's philosophy of history is traced beginning with his classic essay "The Autonomy of Historical Understanding" and culminating in "Narrative Form as a Cognitive Instrument". Mink's thoughts on history during this period were marked by an everdeepening interest in the textuality and intertextuality of historical accounts, in the modes of representation which historians adopt and use to produce their "reality effects," and in the effort to mediate between what he was to call the New Rhetorical (...) Relativism and the claim that histories are in some sense true. Mink's response to Hempel's "The Function of General Laws in History," the beginning of Mink's consideration of narrative in "The Autonomy of Historical Understanding" and later in "History and Fiction as Modes of Comprehension," his association with Hayden White, his critique of a paper by Arno Mayer, and the beginning of Mink's final thoughts in "History and Narrative" and "Narrative Form as a Cognitive Instrument" are considered in elaborating the development of Mink's philosophy of history. (shrink)
Anne Devarieux | : En allant de Maine de Biran à Louis Lavelle, nous allons d’une métaphysique de l’expérience intérieure qui définit l’être du moi comme un volo donné dans le sentiment actuel de sa puissance propre, à une ontologie déclinant les puissances plurielles du moi, à l’intérieur d’une dialectique de la puissance et de l’acte (théorie de la participation). Mais tous deux ont pensé l’intériorité comme un mouvement absolu, secret et irréductible à toute représentation. Attentif à l’évolution de (...) la pensée de Maine de Biran, Louis Lavelle semble avoir développé toutes les potentialités cachées du moi biranien. Un tel mouvement permet d’éclairer la place de Maine de Biran dans l’histoire du spiritualisme français, et de ses héritiers, qu’il s’agisse d’Henri Bergson ou de Michel Henry. | : Going from Maine de Biran to Louis Lavelle, we can feel the distance between a metaphysics of inner experience which defines the being of the ego as a volo, given in the present sense of its own power, and an ontology asserting the plural virtual powers of the ego, within a dialectic of the power and the act (theory of participation). However, both have thought interiority as an absolute and secret motion, irreducible to any representation. Attentive to the evolution of Maine de Biran’s thought, Louis Lavelle seems to have developed all the hidden potential of the Biranian theory of the self. Such a movement can illuminate the place of Biran in the history of French spiritualism, and of his heirs, whether it be Henri Bergson or Michel Henry. (shrink)
Rabbinic tradition, as given in the Palestinian and Babylonian versions of the Talmud, transmits an account of Rabbi Elisha ben Abuyah only to depreciate him for the “pariah” that he was during his lifetime. For one who accepts rabbinic authority, there can be no moral ambiguity about the character of the man, his beliefs, or his aspirations.1 The twelfth-century philosopher and rabbi Moses Maimonides spared no criticism of Elisha. Maimonides wrote The Guide for the Perplexed with the object (...) of enlightening “a religious man who has been trained to believe in the truth of our holy Law, who conscientiously fulfills his moral and religious duties, and at the same time has been successful in his philosophical studies .. (shrink)