We discuss the problem raised by Miller to re-prove the well-known equivalences of some Lindenbaum theorems for deductive systems without an application of the Axiom of Choice. We present five special constructions of deductive systems, each of them providing some partial solutions to the mathematical problem. We conclude with a short discussion of the underlying philosophical problem of deciding, whether a given proof satisfies our demand that the Axiom of Choice is not applied.
This paper will address René Girard’s critique of the “humanization of nothingness” in modern Western philosophy. I will first explain how the “desire for death” is related to a phenomenon that Girard refers to as “obstacle addiction.” Second, I will point out how mankind’s desire for death and illusory will to self-divinization gradually tend to converge within the history of modern Western humanism. In particular, I will show how this convergence between self-destruction and self-divinization gradually takes shape through the (...) evolution of the concept of “the negative” from Hegel to Kojève, Sartre and Camus. Finally, we shall come to see that in Girard’s view “the negative” has tended to become an ever-preoccupying and unacknowledged symptom of mankind’s addiction to “model/obstacles” of desire. (shrink)
What was René Girard’s attitude towards philosophy? What philosophers influenced him? What stance did he take in the philosophical debates of his time? What are the philosophical questions raised by René Girard’s anthropology? In this interview, Paul Dumouchel sheds light on these issues.
This paper will analyze the evolution and the key aspects of René Girard’s critique of the Hegelian “struggle for recognition” and the master-slave dialectic. Through a discussion of Girard’s views on Identity, Difference, Violence, Desire and Negativity, the study will aim to highlight the philosophical uniqueness of the mimetic theory in respect to French Hegelianism and postHegelianism.
This paper aims to offer a comprehensive overview of René Girard’s reflections on the issue of modern jihadism. It addresses three key aspects of his reasoning: (I) the rise of Islamic terrorism in the context of a globalization of resentment; (II) modern jihadism understood as an “event internal to the development of technology;” (III) the hypothesis that modern jihadism “is both linked to Islam and different from it.”.
This anthology brings together many of the more significant contributions to Cartesian scholarship, some of which reach far back as the 1930s. Altogether, there are well over 100 detailed analyses and discussions of salient aspects of Descartes' Promethean legacy. Because Descartes intended his system to embrace not only philosophy but also a complete scientific corpus, this collection covers both philosophical issues and scientific views: Volume 1 is devoted to questions of Cartesian Method and epistemology; Volumes 2 and 3 concentrate on (...) his metaphysics; and Volume 4 discusses Descartes' scientific views and achievements. The lucidity and originality of the essays, a number of which are already classics of Cartesian scholarship, will ensure that this anthology becomes a standard in Cartesian philosophy. An invaluable resource, Rene;e Descartes provides a large variety of introductions, analyses, criticisms, and appraisals of the problems which preoccupied Descartes and the solutions he propounded. (shrink)
In discussing his mimetic theory, René Girard seeks to show that the story concerning the miraculous curing of Ephesus by Apollonius of Tyana could be used to demonstrate how an epidemic of mimetic rivalry can be converted into a state of unanimous violence that has a cathartic effect on society. In doing so, Girard emphasizes the importance of the model in mimetic contagion and its power in channelling the frustrations and violence of the crowd towards a single victim. For (...) him, Apollonius achieved the curing of Ephesus, not through any miraculous intervention but by the single victim mechanism by which the trepidation of society is relieved through unanimous violence. This paper is an attempt to show what is wrong in Girard’s discussion of this miracle. While not necessarily discrediting Girard’s basic precept that human beings are mimetic in nature, it argues that his use of language in presenting the Apollonius story is unnecessarily emotive and inappropriate. It identifies historical and logical inconsistencies in Girard’s discussion and shows his denigration of Apollonius as irrelevant and unfair. It points to various inconsistencies in his adaptation of the story to his theory and concludes that the context and letter of the Apollonius miracle do not fit his mimetic mould and that his attempt to use the Apollonius miracle to further his theory fails to achieve its purpose. (shrink)
El término “doble vínculo” fue utilizado por primera vez por el antropólogo Gregory Bateson. René Girard asume esta aportación de la Escuela de Palo Alto para formular su teoría del “deseo mimético”. El presente artículo expone la transformación de esta noción en la antropología contemporánea.
La obra de René Girard está salpicada de críticas al humanismo y a los humanistas. En este estudio nos preguntamos en primer lugar qué es el humanismo, haciéndonos cargo de la problemática historiográfica. Presentamos el contraste existente entre los tópicos e ideales humanistas y las ideas que se derivan de la teoría mimética. Estudiamos las críticas explícitas de Girard a los humanistas y, por último, adoptamos una perspectiva que permite calificarlo a él mismo como un humanista.
Wie ist es zu erklären, dass wir uns vermittels geistiger Akte auf Gegenstände beziehen können? Und wodurch sind uns geistige Akte bewusst? René Descartes und Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz geben faszinierende Antworten auf diese beiden zentralen Fragen der Philosophie des Geistes. In dieser Studie werden die Konzeptionen beider Autoren im Detail analysiert, miteinander verglichen und mit heutigen Positionen in Beziehung gesetzt. Die Analysen zeigen, dass Descartes eine deflationäre Konzeption des Bewusstseins (conscientia) vertritt. Bewusstsein ist „nur“ ein Aspekt der Intentionalität, die (...) das wesentliche Merkmal des cartesischen Geists ausmacht. Die Analysen zu Leibniz weisen nach, dass er im Vergleich zu Descartes eine weitaus komplexere und anspruchsvollere Konzeption des Geistes vertritt, die aus heutiger Sicht anschlussfähiger erscheint. Die herausragenden Merkmale seiner Position sind die strukturelle Auffassung der Intentionalität und die Unterscheidung zwischen zwei Formen von Bewusstsein (apperception und conscientia), die dem phänomenalen Bewusstsein und dem reflexiven Selbstbewusstsein entsprechen. Im Unterschied zu Descartes weist Leibniz auch nicht-rationalen Tieren Bewusstsein in Form der Apperzeption zu. Conscientia bleibt dagegen den rationalen Substanzen vorbehalten. (shrink)
A major contribution to Descartes studies, this book provides a panorama of cutting-edge scholarship ranging widely over Descartes's own primary concerns: metaphysics, physics, and its applications. It is at once a tool for scholars and--steering clear of technical Cartesian science--an accessible resource that will delight nonspecialists. The contributors include Edwin Curley, Willis Doney, Alan Gabbey, Daniel Garber, Marjorie Grene, Gary Hatfield, Marleen Rozemond, John Schuster, Dennis Sepper, Stephen Voss, Stephen Wagner, Margaret Welson, Jean Marie Beyssade, Michelle Beyssade, Michel Henry, Evert (...) van Leeuwen, Jean-Luc Marion, Genevieve Rodis-Lewis, and Jean-Pierre Seris. Combining new textual sensitivity with attentiveness to history, they represent the best established scholars and most exciting new voices, including both English speaking and newly-translated writers. Part I examines the foundations of Descartes's philosophy: Cartesian certainty; the phenomenology of the cogito and its modulations in the passions; and the defensibility and comprehensibility of the Cartesian God. The second part examines Descartes's groundbreaking metaphysics: mind's distinctness from and interaction with body; imagination; perception; and language. Part III examines Cartesian science: the revolutionary rhetoric of the Rules and the Discourse; the metaphysical foundations of physics; the interplay of rationalism and empiricism; the mechanics and human biology that flow from Descartes's physics. (shrink)
Contributors are Susan Bordo, Stanley Clarke, Erica Harth, Leslie Heywood, Luce Irigaray, Genevieve Lloyd, Mario Moussa, Eileen O'Neill, Adrianna Paliyenko, Ruth Perry, Mario Sáenz, Karl Stern, Thomas Wartenberg, and James Winders.
An introduction to Descartes as a philosopher. Situates his philosophy within the context of Descartes' efforts to forge a new natural philosophy, including original work on the theory of the senses and the passions and emotions.
When originally published in 1952, this book filled a gap in the history of philosophy and science and remains an important work today, because it puts the main mathematical and physical discoveries of Descartes in an accessible form, for the benefit of English readers. Descartes is acknowledged to be the founder of modern mathematics, through his invention of analytical geometry and this volume charts Descartes’ role in bringing a unity into algebra and geometry and the development of mathematics into a (...) discipline which could be properly analysed. Carefully paraphrasing the Géométrie, this volume retains much of Descartes’ original notation as well as the original diagrams. The volume also discusses the considerable contribution that Descartes made to the physical sciences which involved accurate work in optics, light, sight and colour. (shrink)
La obra girardiana no es sistemática. El análisis y la síntesis de contenido de sus textos es el objeto de esta investigación. Pretendemos aquí exponer y clarificar su filosofía mimética, tanto su teoría sobre la formación de los individuos, como su filosofía interdividual del sujeto, además de contextualizarla dentro del giro intersubjetivo de la filosofía contemporánea.
Why is it so important to study Nietzsche? Many works about Nietzsche’s thought have been published over the years, from every conceivable position, including analytical philosophy.1 One more essay on Nietzsche may seem a bit repetitive. Yet, as Giuseppe Fornari wrote in the preface of Il Caso Nietzsche (The Nietzsche Case), it is fundamental to analyze Nietzsche deeply, because the most important themes of his works are still hidden among the pages of his books.2 René Girard has made an (...) original contribution to understanding Nietzsche by underlining the close connections between Nietzsche’s philosophy and the personal relationships he established during his life. In particular, Girard’s .. (shrink)
René Girard’s anthropology goes beyond Durkheim and Freud in seeking knowledge in literary, mythical, and religious texts. Girard’s primary intuition is that human culture originated in response to the danger of violent mimetic crises among increasingly intelligent hominins, whose imitation of each other’s desires led to conflict. These crises were resolved by the mechanism of emissary murder: the proto-human community came to focus its aggression on a single scapegoat whose unanimous lynching, by “miraculously” bringing peace, led to its ritual (...) repetition in sacrifice. Because this theory fails to found the signs of human language and worship on the deferral of spontaneous action, Girard can only attribute the internal peace necessary to the human community to the exhaustion of violent aggression. Instead, generative anthropology proposes that, beginning from the premise that the need to control internecine violence was the source of the human, an appropriative gesture toward an object of common desire, deferred out of fear of violence, becomes understood as a sign of the object’s sacred/interdicted status, after which it can be peacefully divided among the group. Following this originary event, the sacred/signifying universe of language and religion gradually comes to include the totality of human activity. (shrink)
A systematic introduction into the mimetic theory of the French-American literary theorist and philosophical anthropologist René Girard, this essential text explains its three main pillars with the help of examples from literature and philosophy. This book also offers an overview of René Girard’s life and work, showing how much mimetic theory results from existential and spiritual insights into one’s own mimetic entanglements. Furthermore it examines the broader implications of Girard’s theories, from the mimetic aspect of sovereignty and wars (...) to the relationship between the scapegoat mechanism and the question of capital punishment. Mimetic theory is placed within the context of current cultural and political debates like the relationship between religion and modernity, terrorism, the death penalty, and gender issues. Drawing textual examples from European literature and philosophy, Palaver uses mimetic theory to explore the themes they present. A highly accessible book, this text is complemented by bibliographical references to Girard’s widespread work and secondary literature on mimetic theory and its applications, comprising a valuable bibliographical archive that provides the reader with an overview of the development and discussion of mimetic theory until the present day. (shrink)
Reflecting on his scientific career toward the end of his life, the French-educated medical researcher René Dubos presented his flowering as an ecological thinker as a story of linear progression—the inevitable product of the intellectual seeds planted in his youth. But how much store should we set by Dubos’s account of his ecological journey? Resisting retrospective biographical readings, this paper seeks to relate the development of Dubos’s ecological ideas to his experimental practices and his career as a laboratory researcher. (...) In particular, I focus on Dubos’s studies of tuberculosis at the Rockefeller Institute in the period 1944–1956—studies which began with an inquiry into the tubercle bacillus and the physiochemical determinants of virulence, but which soon encompassed a wider investigation of the influence of environmental forces and host–parasite interactions on susceptibility and resistance to infection in animal models. At the same time, through a close reading of Dubos’s scientific papers and correspondence, I show how he both drew on and distinguished his ecological ideas from those of other medical researchers such as Theobald Smith, Frank Macfarlane Burnet, and Frank Fenner. However, whereas Burnet and Fenner tended to view ecological interactions at the level of populations, Dubos focused on the interface of hosts and parasites in the physiological environments of individuals. The result was that although Dubos never fully engaged with the science of ecology, he was able to incorporate ecological ideas into his thought and practices, and relate them to his holistic views on health and the natural harmony of man and his environment. (shrink)
Between the years 1643 and 1649, Princess Elisabeth of Bohemia and René Descartes exchanged fifty-eight letters—thirty-two from Descartes and twenty-six from Elisabeth. Their correspondence contains the only known extant philosophical writings by Elisabeth, revealing her mastery of metaphysics, analytic geometry, and moral philosophy, as well as her keen interest in natural philosophy. The letters are essential reading for anyone interested in Descartes’s philosophy, in particular his account of the human being as a union of mind and body, as well (...) as his ethics. They also provide a unique insight into the character of their authors and the way ideas develop through intellectual collaboration. Philosophers have long been familiar with Descartes’s side of the correspondence. Now Elisabeth’s letters—never before available in translation in their entirety—emerge this volume, adding much-needed context and depth both to Descartes’s ideas and the legacy of the princess. Lisa Shapiro’s annotated edition—which also includes Elisabeth’s correspondence with the Quakers William Penn and Robert Barclay—will be heralded by students of philosophy, feminist theorists, and historians of the early modern period. (shrink)
Review of Desmond M. Clarke. Descartes: A Biography. xi + 507 pp., apps., figs., bibl., index. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006. $40 (cloth).; Richard Watson, Cogito, Ergo Sum: The Life of René Descartes. viii + 375 pp., figs., bibl., index. Boston: David R. Godine, 2002. $35 (cloth).
n order to disclose possible affinities between the oeuvres of Emmanuel Levinas and René Girard that run deeper than both the apparently opposite quarters in which they deploy their thought—difference and sameness—and their patently shared view—an ethical concern for victims— their analogue account of the mythical dynamics of undifferentiation should be explored. Due to their very similar endeavor—to pinpoint the circumstances in which mythical violence arises—Levinas’s notion of the il y a as a neutral and saturated field of forces (...) and Girard’s description of the final paroxysm of the mimetic crisis can be equated with very instructive results. Furthermore, because both instances are linked to the primeval situation in which the subject as such emerges, these authors’ descriptions reinforce each other and provide us with a critical account of a realm that should be transcended—the domain of the violent sacred in which force becomes the ultimate criteria—lest we run the risk of a total social involution. (shrink)
ABSTRACT: René Descartes' Cogito is an example of a paradigmatic thought experiment, herald of both subjectivism and new science in Europe's Modern Age, that seems to have escaped the attention of thought experiment philosophers. On deep analysis, the Cogito appears as universal instantiation. The Cogito has strong rhetorical effects for it narratively generalizes from I to all human kind, and its historical and philosophical success can be explained from its concise enthymematic structure that rings true in many possible senses. (...) We consider it a preeminent example of a thought experiment as it states the power of thinking as its very contents. From Descartes' methodology of doubt we can conclude that, e.g., on a Wittgensteinian interpretation, the Cogito is a logical thought experiment rather than a psychological one. RESUMO: O Cogito de René Descartes é um exemplo de experimento mental paradigmático, precursor tanto do subjetivismo quanto da nova ciência, na Idade Moderna europeia, o qual parece ter escapado à atenção dos filósofos que estudaram o experimento mental. Na análise profunda, o Cogito aparece como uma instanciação universal. O Cogito tem fortes efeitos retóricos por si mesmo, generalizando narrativamente desde o eu para toda a espécie humana, e seu sucesso histórico e filosófico pode ser explicado por sua estrutura entimemática concisa, que soa através de muitos sentidos possíveis. Consideramos que é um exemplo proeminente de um experimento mental, na medida em que afirma o poder de pensar como seus próprios conteúdos. A partir da metodologia da dúvida de Descartes, podemos concluir que, em uma interpretação wittgensteiniana, o Cogito é um experimento mental mais lógico que psicológico. (shrink)
The major goal of René Descartes’s rich and penetrating recent book, Meditations on First Philosophy, is to develop a methodology for the discovery of the truth, more specifically, a methodology that accommodates the dictates of a mathematical physics for our view of physical reality. Such a methodology must accordingly deal with and seek to defuse the apparent conflict between a mathematical physics and our commonsense picture of things, a conflict that continues to pose difficult challenges. Though much in the (...) book is devoted to an account of the mind, that focus results from the broader goal of finding a methodology for discovery that will deliver an overall picture of reality consonant with a mathematical physics. Much that Descartes says in this book may strike many readers as extravagant and implausible, and perhaps hardly worth serious consideration. But there is a line of argument one can extract that is challenging and often compelling, even if not in the end wholly convincin .. (shrink)
Religion has become a vital resource for attempts to rethink the meaning of the political. This article rehearses the efforts of two recent figures, René Girard and Giorgio Agamben, to transform the political by renewing its connection to religion. Both thinkers struggle to escape politics as defined by Carl Schmitt's friend/enemy distinction. Girard and Agamben do clash ideologically, but their inquiries into sacrifice and messianism take similar courses. Regarding origins, Girard argues for the sacrificial crisis as the common parent (...) to religion and politics. Conversely, for Agamben, the Roman figure of homo sacer distinguishes politics from religion. With respect to the future, Girard's messianism installs Christian belief as the only way to move beyond violence. By contrast, Agamben steers Pauline messianism toward the efforts to displace sovereignty and reopen the political. I conclude that Agamben breaks with Schmitt while Girard reinscribes his politics at a higher level. Key Words: Giorgio Agamben Rey Chow Christianity René Girard homo sacer messianism politics sacred sacrifice Carl Schmitt. (shrink)
René Zavaleta set out to deepen the explanation of the history of Bolivia by developing a set of ideas about long-term structures of pre-Hispanic and colonial origin and their forms of overlap. This paper analyses the conceptual structure of Zavaleta’s proposal and the place of history within it.
Between the years 1643 and 1649, Princess Elisabeth of Bohemia (1618–80) and Rene; Descartes (1596–1650) exchanged fifty-eight letters—thirty-two from Descartes and twenty-six from Elisabeth. Their correspondence contains the only known extant philosophical writings by Elisabeth, revealing her mastery of metaphysics, analytic geometry, and moral philosophy, as well as her keen interest in natural philosophy. The letters are essential reading for anyone interested in Descartes’s philosophy, in particular his account of the human being as a union of mind and body, as (...) well as his ethics. They also provide a unique insight into the character of their authors and the way ideas develop through intellectual collaboration. Philosophers have long been familiar with Descartes’s side of the correspondence. Now Elisabeth’s letters—never before available in translation in their entirety—emerge this volume, adding much-needed context and depth both to Descartes’s ideas and the legacy of the princess. Lisa Shapiro’s annotated edition—which also includes Elisabeth’s correspondence with the Quakers William Penn and Robert Barclay—will be heralded by students of philosophy, feminist theorists, and historians of the early modern period. (shrink)
Taking as its point of departure the existing critical literature on the intersections between René Girard’s and Giorgio Agamben’s anthropogenetic theories, this essay aims to add further considerations to the debate by discussing some of Agamben’s intuitions within a Girardian paradigmatic explanatory framework. I show how by regressing the archeological analysis to a pre-institutional and pre-legal moment, and by re-examining the antinomic structure of the sacred in its genetic organizing form, one can account more cogently for certain key issues (...) relevant to Agamben’s theoretical project, such as the “paradox of sovereignty,” the nature of the “state of exception,” and the dissociation between culpa and individual responsibility in archaic law, as recently discussed in Karman. I also put forward arguments concerning the limitations of Agamben’s immanent ontology to account for the zoe/bios distinction as a key structural element of his particular take on biopolitics, viewing this specifically in the light. (shrink)
Even though the seventeenth-century French philosopher René Descartes has been remembered primarily for his contributions to Western philosophy, he also showed a curiosity about many aspects of the natural world. His mechanistic and rationalistic methods have been criticized as often as they have been praised, but they provided a framework for subsequent scientific inquiry.
The aim of this special collection of essays, titled Intersubjectivity, Desire, and Mimetic Theory: René Girard and Psychoanalysis, is to reappraise the relationship between René Girard's thought and the psychoanalytic tradition. The tripartite structure of the title clearly echoes the English title of Girard's first book, Deceit, Desire and the Novel, with which he introduced the psychological dynamics of mimetic desire as represented in modern European novels.1 Through the reference to the intentionally broad notions of "intersubjectivity," "desire," and (...) "mimetic theory," our title also signals the intention to cover the multifarious aspects and issues that inform Girard's thinking in relation to core issues of... (shrink)
To some, Rene Girard is best known for his views on sacred myth and ritual. To others, he is the eminent structuralist critic who offers challenging readings of major literary works. Still others know him for his analyses of the Bible. Central to all aspects of Girard's work is his theory of mimesis, a basic hypothesis about the structures of human motivation, Yet nowhere in his writings does Girard offer a systematic presentation of the mimetic theory. In fact, key terminology (...) shifts from work to work, resulting in considerable ambiguity in both basic concepts and explanatory claims,In Models of Desire Paisley Livingston provides the first rigorous critical reconstruction of Girard's theory of mimesis. Drawing a careful distinction between the theory itself and Girard's often ambitious claims about it, Livingston provides a systematic presentation of Girard's ideas about the role of imitation in human motivation. He surveys responses to Girard's work and compares his theory of mimetic desire with recent work in cognitive psychology and philosophy. The result is a salient theoretical alternative to the false choice--between psychoanalysis and anti-psychological doctrines--that currently dominates literary theory. (shrink)