This book offers even more than its title promises. Embarrassed with my translation of échec, I emphasize that its authors not only reflect on "Man and Failure," but design a vast anthropological fresco by approaching their topic from psychological, economical, medical, religious and philosophical points of view. Jean Lacroix published a book on Failure some years ago; in 1968 he asked thirteen outstanding French writing personalities for contributions to an interdisciplinary study on the same issue. The result is a remarkable (...) collection of insights into this basic experience in human life. Joseph Nuttin, professor in experimental psychology, presents his most recent researches on the transformation of a person's needs and energies into a "project" of life. Failure, the unsuccess of such a project, gives cognitive information useful for subsequent conduct. Raymond Carpentier sees failure in the area of communication: it reveals the ambiguity of any information. On the level of consciousness, he writes, reality only exists in so far as its own failure is contained in its very structure. "Ambiguous like life itself, communication is what has reality only when it does not succeed in its materializations." François Perroux, economist, both calmly and alarmingly sketches the perhaps imminent failure of our economic system. Three other articles deal with ethnological and medical problems. The philosopher and psychoanalyst Mrs. Eliane Amado Lévy-Valenski, author of L'humanisme psychanalytique, le mythe grec et la phénoménologie biblique, pursues her threefold investigation: "Psychoanalysis, Phenomenology or Ontology of Failure?" To fail in one's efforts is both a trial and a temptation, but it also points toward the emergence of infinity within finitude. The three religious contributions give the most personal penetration of the subject. They are the center of the book. The last section deals with three philosophies: the failing thought of Being, the critique of humanism, the restoration of motivations in action. The first of them is due to Rouven Gilead, professor at the University of Tel-Aviv and author of one of the best books on Heidegger. His paper suggests what radical Failure would mean: not of man, nor of given historical situations, nor even of metaphysics, although these three approaches are true. But the "truth of Being" in modern subjectivity, in sciences and in philosophy remains hidden. Our horizon of thought is the nihilism of Being. The fundamental Failure, then, is the history of Being itself.--R. S. (shrink)
A collection of essays on methodology by practitioners of various disciplines. Raymond Aron, in discussing evidence and inference in history, touches on the old problems of uniqueness, relativism, periodization and pattern in history. H. M. Hart and J. T. McNaughton discuss the special problems of evidence which arise in a legal context. Erik Erikson emphasizes the subjective aspects of the clinical psychologist's method of interpreting evidence. Martin Deutsch writes about the role of theoretical assumptions in interpreting evidence in nuclear (...) research. Paul Lazarsfeld's essay, probably the best, deals with problems of logic and technique in social research. The symposium concludes with a case study by Jacob Fine: the investigation of a problem in medical research. The philosophical content of most of the essays is small, though they provide material of which the philosophical methodologist must take account.—R. S. (shrink)
Significant associations have been found between specific human leukocyte antigen (HLA) alleles and organ transplant rejection, autoimmune disease development, and the response to infection. Traditional searches for disease associations have conventionally measured risk associated with the presence of individual HLA alleles. However, given the high level of HLA polymorphism, the pattern of amino acid variability, and the fact that most of the HLA variation occurs at functionally important sites, it may be that a combination of variable amino acid sites shared (...) by several alleles (shared epitopes) are better descriptors of the actual causative genetic variants. Here we describe a novel approach to genetic association analysis in which genes/proteins are broken down into smaller sequence features and then variant types defined for each feature, allowing for independent analysis of disease association with each sequence feature variant type. We have used this approach to analyze a cohort of systemic sclerosis patients and show that a sequence feature composed of specific amino acid residues in peptide binding pockets 4 and 7 of HLA-DRB1 explains much of the molecular determinant of risk for systemic sclerosis. (shrink)
Matter and Form explores the relationship between natural science and political philosophy from the classical to contemporary eras, taking an interdisciplinary approach to the philosophic understanding of the structure and process of the natural world and its impact on the history of political philosophy. It illuminates the importance of philosophic reflection on material nature to moral and political theorizing, mediating between the sciences and humanities and making a contribution to ending the isolation between them.
Montaigne faz um ataque pirrônico ao conceito acadêmico de verossimilhança ou probabilidade na Apologia de Raymond Sebond. O ataque é paradoxal porque Montaigne parece seguir o verossímil na própria Apologia e em diversos outros ensaios. Para resolver este problema exegético proponho uma dupla restrição do escopo do ataque à verossimilhança. Por um lado, mostro que o ataque visa mais a leitura epistêmica da verossimilhança proposta por Filo de Larissa do que ao conceito original de ordem exclusivamente prática de Carnéades. (...) Por outro, situo-o em um contexto político-religioso bem específico. O ataque pirrônico à verossimilhança é a estratégia oferecida por Montaigne à rainha católica de Navarra e irmã do rei da França, Marguerite de Valois, para eventual uso nas polêmicas religiosas em sua corte majoritariamente protestante de Nérac. Esta contextualização soluciona também outros problemas exegéticos da Apologia, como o da defesa paradoxal de Sebond, a inconsistência aparente entre as respostas de Montaigne às duas objeções feitas ao livro de Sebond, e o problema do fideísmo. In the Apology for Raymond Sebond, Montaigne launches a Pyrrhonian attack on Academic probability. However, Montaigne does follow probability in the Apology and other essays. In order to solve this exegetical problem I propose a double restriction of the attack. On the one hand, I show that it aims at Philo of Larissa's epistemic interpretation of the doctrine rather than at Carneades' original practical conception. On the other hand, I place the attack on a very specific historical context. Montaigne's Pyrrhonian attack on probability is a polemical strategy offered to Marguerite de Valois, the sister of the catholic king of France and wife of the protestant leader Henri de Navarre, to be used in the religious controversies in her predominant protestant court at Nérac. This context also solves other exegetical problems of the Apology such as Montaigne's paradoxical defense of Sebond, the apparent contradiction between the replies to the two objections to Sebond's book addressed by Montaigne, and the problem of fideism. (shrink)
Especially in recent works, Raymond Geuss has expressed an unabashedly bleak view of the practice of philosophy and what we can expect to gain from it. In his latest collection of essays, A World Without Why, Geuss continues to write in this vein. Although he characteristically addresses an impressive variety of topics, the book is held together by a general engagement with the question of authority and by Geuss’s ongoing effort to philosophize outside the bounds of contemporary philosophy. Indeed, (...) one of the forms of authority with which he most takes issue is that of philosophy itself. Nonetheless, Geuss has a favorite cast of philosophers who he frequently enlists in his unique brand of philosophically informed... (shrink)