A collection of essays from major scholars in the field as well as from people in a wide range of other disciplines to which the Timaeus and its reception have been of relevance, from architecture and film studies to physics.
This is an inquiry into the ways the state is constituted as an effective legal fiction. It is based on the premise that the state was not constituted, once and for all, some three centuries ago but that the existence of the state relies on continuing legal and social processes. The focus is on the translation from the legal to the social, specifically the semiotic interaction between law, space and daily life in the dynamics of this on-going mise en scène. (...) This requires re-thinking a number of semiotic issues: first, Lefebvre’s challenge to a semiotics which neglects the place of the material and, second, a challenge to Lefebvre’s assertions that the state operates in a realm of freedom in switching ‘at will’ between codes. Third, it is possible to question the conditions by which the state operates as a ‘floating signifier’, which maintains its domination by overwhelming us with its excess meanings. The inquiry proceeds by analysing the legal semiotics of space in different settings: the axis as an expression of legal and state power, from the courtroom to the capital city, and street names with legal referents. After considering these self conscious attempts at meaning-making, the article concludes that the legal constitution of the state in urban space is not determined by a single wilful semiotic regime, but is contingent upon the interpretations and enactments of people who use the spaces. Except in the controlled environments of the courtroom and the planned capital city, everyday life is continually reconstituting the meanings of law and the state. (shrink)
The much-anticipated anthology on Plato’s_Timaeus_—Plato’s singular dialogue on the creation of the universe, the nature of the physical world, and the place of persons in the cosmos—examining all dimensions of one of the most important books in Western Civilization: its philosophy, cosmology, science, and ethics, its literary aspects and reception. Contributions come from leading scholars in their respective fields, including Sir Anthony Leggett, 2003 Nobel Laureate for Physics. Parts of or earlier versions of these papers were first presented at the (...) _Timaeus_ Conference, held at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign in September of 2007._ To this day, Plato’s _Timaeus_ grounds the form of ethical and political thinking called Natural Law—the view that there are norms in nature that provide the patterns for our actions and ground the objectivity of human values. Beyond the intellectual content of the dialogue’s core, its literary frame is also the source of the myth of Atlantis, giving the West the concept of the “lost world.” From Platonic space to Presocratic vortices, from Philosopher-Kings to Craftsman-Gods and from modern physics to the myth of Atlantis, _One Book, The Whole Universe_ presents in one volume the most up-to-date and penetrating scholarship on Plato’s _Timaeus_ by some of the greatest minds alive today. Contributors__ _Ann Bergren Gábor Betegh Sean Carroll Alan Code Zina Giannopoulou Verity Harte Thomas Kjeller Johansen Charles H. Kahn Anthony J. Leggett Anthony A. Long Stephen Menn Richard D. Mohr Kathryn A. Morgan Alexander P.D. Mourelatos Ian Mueller Thomas M. Robinson Barbara M. Sattler Allan Silverman Jon Solomon Anthony Vidler Matthias Vorwerk Donald Zeyl. (shrink)
Platonic universals received sympathetic attention at the turn of the century in the early writings of Moore and Russell. But this interest quickly waned with the empiricist and nominalist movements of the twenties and thirties. In this process of declining interest Wittgenstein's theory of family resemblance seemed to serve both as coup de grâce and post-mortem.I propose, however, that family resemblance far from being an adequate refutation of Platonic universals can actually be accommodated within a Platonic theory properly conceived. But (...) first for some caveats and qualifications.What family resemblance actually succeeds in refuting is not Platonic universals but Aristotelian or empiricist, or, generally, abstractive or commutative, universals. An abstractive universal is a universal arrived at by induction from identical characteristics in numerically distinct individuals. An abstractive universal is a common property and nothing else. This conception of a universal has several consequences. First, abstractive universals are ontologically dependent on particulars. (shrink)
The paper argues that in the "timaeus" plato views the phenomena in and of themselves as a positive source of evil, moving erratically without psychic causes whether rational or irrational, direct or indirect, and so the paper argues that "timaeus" contradicts the psychic autokenetic doctrine from the "phaedrus" and "laws x". The argument is based on a detailed analysis of "timaeus", 52d-53a and 58a-c, plato's description of chaos an his 'atomic' theory.
Indigenous land claims in Australia havebrought Indigenous law into contact with theAustralian common law, changing some of theterms of each of these systems of law. Bytracing these contacts back to one of the firstengagements, when the Yolngu people of northernAustralia framed a petition to parliament inpictorial descriptions of their law, I explorethe means by which changes have occurred. Thisis characterised as a process of mutualframings and re-framings.The delicate and contentious issue ofmeaning change in Yolngu law and in Australiancommon law's dealings (...) with Indigenous law isexamined in order to illuminate the ways inwhich meaning change may be understood in anepistemological and semiotic framework.The most recent common law decisions inland claims have begun to recognise a mutualrelationship between common law and Indigenouslaw. This has occurred most notably at theedges of western law's epistemologicalpractice, in its dealings with historical andIndigenous sources. The success of Yolnguepistemological and legal engagement with thedominant Australian society and its lawsuggests a means of understanding some of theways in which meaning may change in response tochanging contexts. This relationship can beseen through Yolngu categories of ``inside'' and``outside'', or in terms of the cultural contextof semiotic interpretation. Meanings maychange within each frame, not through thesimple incorporation or adoption of ``outside''concepts, but through shifts in the broadercontext of meaning. (shrink)
Norms applying to food interact with conceptions of nationhood, identity and law. This occurs through gastronomies and ethico-religious standards, recognition and conviviality, and the voice of communities in the sourcing and labelling of their food. Law, nation and identity intersect in the notion of citizenship. The chapter moves from the tight relationships by which persons are constrained within overdetermined categories of state law and national citizenship, to explore the possibilities unleashed by a loosening of the bonds between law, nation and (...) identity. Sections deal in turn with each of these “loosenings”, as we prize apart the knots that bind identity and nation, nation and law, and law and identity, each in relation to the cultural and legal context of food. With these loosenings, the unified jurisdiction of the nation-state gives way to plural and informal law; a single national identity expands into multiple ethical and ethnic associations; identity is no longer determined by state-centred legal interpellation but allows persons to “inhabit” a range of norms. By expanding the scope for participation and interaction in each of these areas, citizenship finds new networks for expansion, enrichment and reflexivity. The full spectrum of social justice can only be addressed by regimes and networks that ensure fair and adequate distribution of food, that respect the cultural demands as well as the biological needs of communities, and that ensure participation, through choices informed by personally relevant criteria and social and political structures. (shrink)