This article presents an outline of Régis Debray's mediology. Situated at the crossroads of philosophy, theology, anthropology, archaeology, history, sociology, political sciences, semiotics, media and cultural studies, mediology is a relatively autonomous discipline that analyses the totality of the processes of mediation that intervene between culture and agency, and transform ideas into a material force. Mediology or mediation studies broadens the notion of media so as to include all material and institutional vectors of communication and defines mediation as the totality (...) of interactions between culture and technology that make the diffusion (through space) and the transmission (over time) of ideas possible. (shrink)
Our aim is to show that translating the modal graphs of Moretti’s “n-opposition theory” (2004) into set theory by a suited device, through identifying logical modal formulas with appropriate subsets of a characteristic set, one can, in a constructive and exhaustive way, by means of a simple recurring combinatory, exhibit all so-called “logical bi-simplexes of dimension n” (or n-oppositional figures, that is the logical squares, logical hexagons, logical cubes, etc.) contained in the logic produced by any given modal graph (an (...) exhaustiveness which was not possible before). In this paper we shall handle explicitly the classical case of the so-called 3(3)-modal graph (which is, among others, the one of S5), getting to a very elegant tetraicosahedronal geometrisation of this logic. (shrink)
Unlike many of Descartes’s other followers, Pierre-Sylvain Re´gis resists the temptations of occasionalism. By marrying the ontology of mechanism with the causal structure of concurrentism, Re´gis arrives at a novel view that both acknowledges God’s role in natural events and preserves the causal powers of bodies. I set out Re´gis’s position, focusing on his arguments against occasionalism and his responses to Malebranche’s ‘no necessary connection’ and divine concursus arguments.
This paper proposes an approach to investigate norm-governed learning agents which combines a logic-based formalism with an equation-based counterpart. This dual formalism enables us to describe the reasoning of such agents and their interactions using argumentation, and, at the same time, to capture systemic features using equations. The approach is applied to norm emergence and internalisation in systems of learning agents. The logical formalism is rooted into a probabilistic defeasible logic instantiating Dung’s argumentation framework. Rules of this logic are attached (...) with probabilities to describe the agents’ minds and behaviours as well as uncertain environments. Then, the equation-based model for reinforcement learning, defined over this probability distribution, allows agents to adapt to their environment and self-organise. (shrink)
Alan Gewirth's Reason and Morality directed philosophical attention to the possibility of presenting a rational and rigorous demonstration of fundamental moral principles. Now, these previously unpublished essays from some of the most distinguished philosophers of our generation subject Gewirth's program to thorough evaluation and assessment. In a tour de force of philosophical analysis, Professor Gewirth provides detailed replies to all of his critics--a major, genuinely clarifying essay of intrinsic philosophical interest.
In this essay we will consider another basic topic: the problem of the nature of the distinctions between Sitte, Brauch, Wert, Mode, and Recht, on which Weber's discussion relies. These discussions typically involved the untranslatable concept of Sitte, which marks a contrast between practices or customs with normative force and “mere practice.” There is a close parallel to this distinction in American social thought in W. G. Sumner's latinate distinction between the mores and folkways of a society. In what follows (...) we shall simply use the German term as a reminder of its long history in German philosophy. Weber was obviously aware of this history, as was Jhering. Our aim will be to examine Weber's modifications of the received version of these distinctions and to consider the Implications of these modifications. As we shall see, what Weber represents as an innocuous classificatory problem contains a much more significant conceptual transformation, which bears on the general image of modernity as rationalization constructed by Weber. (shrink)
Probabilistic argumentation and neuro-argumentative systems offer new computational perspectives for the theory and applications of argumentation, but their principled construction involves two entangled problems. On the one hand, probabilistic argumentation aims at combining the quantitative uncertainty addressed by probability theory with the qualitative uncertainty of argumentation, but probabilistic dependences amongst arguments as well as learning are usually neglected. On the other hand, neuro-argumentative systems offer the opportunity to couple the computational advantages of learning and massive parallel computation from neural networks (...) with argumentative reasoning and explanatory abilities, but the relation of probabilistic argumentation frameworks with these systems has been ignored so far. Towards the construction of neuro-argumentative systems based on probabilistic argumentation, we associate a model of abstract argumentation and the graphical model of Boltzmann machines in order to (i... (shrink)
The N ational Assembly held in the Frankfurt Paulskirche in 1848, which opened w ith high hopes for the unification o f Germ any on parliam entary constitutional principles, was left to die a year later, in the telling phrase o f D onoso Cortes, ‘like a street w om an in the gu tter’. In the period o f reaction that followed, during w hich the Paulskirche convention came to be described as the ‘parliam ent o f pro fessors’, (...) one o f its m em bers, Georg G ottfried Gervinus, was accused, in a trial for high treason, o f attem pting to prove the historical inevitability o f the supersession o f monarchical forms by republican forms. This was Gervinus’s second experience as a professorial m artyr. In 1837 he had been one o f the professors at the U niversity o f G ottingen, the ‘Gottingen Seven’, w ho protested the revocation o f the H anoverian constitution. For this he had been banished and given three days to leave the kingdom. The lesson he, and m any other liberal thinkers, learned from these experiences was that the Germ an middle classes were incapable o f perform ing the historical role assigned to them; they lacked the political will to establish a republican order. (shrink)
Max Weber, German economist, historian, sociologist, methodologist, and political thinker, is of philosophical significance for his attempted reconciliation of historical relativism with the possibility of a causal social science; his notion of a verstehende sociology; his formulation, use and epistemic account of the concept of ‘ideal types’; his views on the rational irreconcilability of ultimate value choices, and particularly his formulation of the implications for ethical political action of the conflict between ethics of conviction and ethics of responsibility; and his (...) sociological account of the causes and uniqueness of the western rationalization of life. These topics are closely related: Weber argued that the explanatory interests of the historian and social scientist vary historically and that the objects of their interest were constituted in terms of cultural points of view, and that consequently their categories are ultimately rooted in evaluations, and hence subjective. But he also argued that social science cannot dispense with causality, and that once the categories were chosen, judgments of causality were objective. The explanatory interests of the sociologist, as he defined sociology, were in understanding intentional action causally, but in terms of categories that were culturally significant, such as ‘rational action’. Much of his influence flowed from his formulation of the cultural situation of the day, especially the idea that the fate of the time was to recognize that evaluations were inescapably subjective and that the world had no inherent ‘meaning’. The existential implications of this novel situation for politics and learning were strikingly formulated by him: science could not tell us how to live; politics was as a choice between warring Gods. Weber’s scholarly work and his politics served as a model for Karl Jaspers, and a subject of criticism and analysis for other philosophers, such as Karl Löwith, Max Scheler, and the Frankfurt School. (shrink)
According to Bergson, there is no laugh without an « anaesthesia of the heart ». A kind of malice always ultimately lies in the depths of the pleasure of laughter. Can this pleasure be mora l ? It creates an affective community which can be both the site of identity and that of challenge, of calling everything into question. Cathartic, conservative, revolutionary, philosophical, desperate, the pleasure of laughter is a complex passion which must be taken seriously.
Ami/ennemi est le binôme dans lequel, au xxe siècle, on a essayé de fondre le principe politique. Mais l’amitié est aussi l’objet d’un tractatus spécifique de l’un des juristes les plus représentatifs du xive siècle, Giovanni da Legnano (1320 ?-1383). Selon Giovanni, c’est dans l’amicitia que réside la réalité profonde de tous les ordres de relations, depuis celui de l’univers jusqu’à l’ordre juridique et politique. À cette dernière acception de l’amicitia, Giovanni consacre sa réflexion, qui prend la direction d’un véritable (...) commentaire juridique du huitième livre de l’Éthique à Nicomaque d’Aristote. Si l’amicitia est ainsi la description du rapport qui lie le prince et les sujets, l’inimitié finit en revanche par décrire la tyrannie, c’est-à-dire la négation même de l’ordre juridique et politique. (shrink)
bit b. Qurra is especially known as a mathematician, but his work in astronomy is also important. This article reviews his eight surviving astronomical treatises, as well as relevant fragments of his lost works cited by later authors in Arabic and Latin. We conclude that, as an active participant in the scientific movement of 9th-century Baghdad, bit played a crucial role in the establishment of astronomy as an exact science. The argument is based on an assessment of his contribution in (...) three areas: the relationship between observation and theory, the of astronomy, and the relationship between astronomy and astronomy. (shrink)
The Spokesman of Deutsche Bank's Board of Managing Directors delivered The Gilbart Lecture on Banking last year under the auspices of King's College London at an occasion sponsored by the National Westminster Bank plc and organised by the Chartered Institute of Bankers. The text of Herr Kopper's lecture is reproduced here with permission.