In this article Roberto Balzani, the mayor of Forlì, remembers Roberto Ruffilli, 25 years after his murder. The remembrance reconstructs the steps of his academic career and of his political commitment. Ruffilli graduated at the Catholic University of Milan; his researches in contemporary history placed him in an original position if compared with the Italian studies of the time. The constant attention towards the history of administration and the transformations of the state is the basis on which Ruffilli (...) built his proposals concerning the reform of the insitutional and political system. Balzani concludes the article by affirming that the problems of today aren't any different, that is why Ruffilli's proposals still demonstrate their modernity. (shrink)
The subject of this paper is objectivity from Kant's point of view: or better, my own perspective on Kant's perspective on objectivity. More precisely, I want to draw attention to some aspects of the latter, which I believe are too narrow and must be widened before we can benefit from a Kantian approach today.
This paper presents a semantical analysis of the Weak Kleene Logics Kw3 and PWK from the tradition of Bochvar and Halldén. These are three-valued logics in which a formula takes the third value if at least one of its components does. The paper establishes two main results: a characterisation result for the relation of logical con- sequence in PWK – that is, we individuate necessary and sufficient conditions for a set.
This book by Roberto Esposito - a leading Italian political philosopher - is a highly original exploration of the relationship between human bodies and societies. The original function of law, even before it was codified, was to preserve peaceful cohabitation between people who were exposed to the risk of destructive conflict. Just as the human body's immune system protects the organism from deadly incursions by viruses and other threats, law also ensures the survival of the community in a life-threatening (...) situation. It protects and prolongs life. But the function of law as a form of immunization points to a more disturbing consideration. Like the individual body, the collective body can be immunized from the perceived danger only by allowing a little of what threatens it to enter its protective boundaries. This means that in order to escape the clutches of death, life is forced to incorporate within itself the lethal principle. Starting from this reflection on the nature of immunization, Esposito offers a wide-ranging analysis of contemporary biopolitics. Never more than at present has the demand for immunization come to characterize all aspects of our existence. The more we feel at risk of being infiltrated and infected by foreign elements, the more the life of the individual and society closes off within its protective boundaries, forcing us to choose between a self-destructive outcome and a more radical alternative based on a new conception of community. (shrink)
Grounding contingentism is the doctrine according to which grounds are not guaranteed to necessitate what they ground. In this paper I will argue that the most plausible version of contingentism is incompatible with the idea that the grounding relation is transitive, unless either ‘priority monism’ or ‘contrastivism’ are assumed.
Over the last few decades, there have been intense debates concerning the effects of markets on the morality of individuals’ behaviour. On the one hand, several authors argue that markets’ ongoing expansion tends to undermine individuals’ intentions for mutual benefit and virtuous character traits and actions. On the other hand, leading economists and philosophers characterize markets as a domain of intentional cooperation for mutual benefit that promotes many of the character traits and actions that traditional virtue ethics accounts classify as (...) virtuous. In this paper, I join this debate and argue for three claims of general interest to philosophers, economists and policy makers. First, market transactions do not reliably promote individuals’ intentions for mutual benefit, and often select against such intentions. Second, the set of so-called market virtues lacks a substantial overlap with the set of character traits that traditional virtue ethics accounts classify as virtuous. And third, many seemingly virtuous actions observed in market contexts are merely actions in accordance with virtue rather than genuine actions from virtue. These three claims do not license opposition to markets, but challenge the main empirical and theoretical presuppositions of leading virtue ethics defences of markets. (shrink)
ABSTRACTThe ability of providing an adequate supervenience base for tensed truths may seem to be one of the main theoretical advantages of both the growing-block and the moving-spotlight theory of time over presentism. However, in this paper I will argue that some propositions appear to be as problematic for growing-block theorists as past-directed propositions are for presentists, namely propositions stating that nothing will be the case in the future. Furthermore, I will show that the moving-spotlight theory can adequately address all (...) the main supervenience challenges that can be levelled against A-theories of time. I will, thus, conclude that, at least as far as the supervenience principle is concerned, the moving-spotlight theory should be preferred over both presentism and the growing-block theory. (shrink)
This is Dr. Roberto Assagioli's second book on the psychological system he formulated known as Psychosynthesis. It continues where his first book left off and delves into the important process of willing as a psychological function based on a higher self rather on guilt or determination as in the Victorian concept of the will.
Roberto Esposito is one of leading figures in a new generation of Italian philosophers. This book criticizes the notion of the person and develops an original account of the concept of the impersonal - what he calls the third person.
This chapter analyzes the concept of an event and of event representation as an umbrella notion. It provides an overview of different ways events have been dealt with in philosophy, linguistics, and cognitive science. This variety of positions has been construed in part as the result of different descriptive and explanatory projects. It is argued that various types of notions — common-sense, theoretically revised, scientific, and internalist psychological — be kept apart.
Fr. Roberto Busa was an Italian Jesuit. In this article his biography will briefly be presented, and some issues raised by his philosophy analyzed. Busa was known as a pioneer of computerized research in the humanities. With the support of IBM he constructed the Index Thomisticus, containing all the works of St. Thomas Aquinas. He believed that expressions of the human can be mathematically modeled. He was the originator of a specific conception of hypertext, in which logically structured programs (...) are able to challenge the general linguistic mode of thinking, in order to make better communication and understanding possible. However, Busa was also con- scious of the general ethical problems involved (Babel), and he hoped that the basic logic of objects could progress towards the truth of being. (shrink)
This paper explores the epistemological impact of the idea of post-secularism on the concept of public reason. It does so by examining a strand of the Rawls-Habermas debate on the role of religious beliefs within public reason. The paper identifies a difficulty in the liberal solution that depends upon the unwillingness to challenge the proviso-like conception of public reason and contends that this difficulty is overcome neither by Habermas’ “institutional” version of proviso nor by Cristina Lafont’s version of “mutual accountability” (...) proviso. Once acknowledged this blind spot in the theory of public reason, the paper proceeds to show that a pragmatist-based conception of public reason can overcome this shortcoming as it grants to religious beliefs a role that does not compromise the liberal ethics of citizenship while at the same time does not frustrate the communitarian and religious call for a less restrictive conception of the public sphere. The conclusion this paper brings home is that a proviso-free public reason is necessary for tackling the theoretical challenge of defending liberalism in a post-secular society. (shrink)
This article develops the affirmative biopolitics that Roberto Esposito intimates in his trilogy – Communitas, Immunitas and Bı´os. The key to this affirmative biopolitics lies in the relationship between the munus, a form of gift that is the root of communitas and immunitas, and the gift discourse that developed throughout the 20th century. The article expands upon Esposito’s interpretation of four theoretical sources that are crucial to his biopolitical perspective: Mauss and the gift-exchange tradition; Hobbes’s social contract theory, which (...) Esposito presents as the anti-gift that founded modernity’s thanatopolitical ‘immunization paradigm’; Bataille’s dangerous concept of sacrifice, which gestures toward an affirmative biopolitical community; and, finally, Jean-Luc Nancy’s essay, L’Intrus, which reflects on the near-decade Nancy lived as the recipient of the gift of a transplanted heart. This discussion of Mauss, Hobbes and Bataille is used to further develop Esposito’s interpretation of L’Intrus in a manner that supports his conception of an affirmative biopolitics ‘of, not over, life’. (shrink)
As the worlds of economics, politics, culture, and communications face a growing wave of globalization that will likely continue, ethical challenges for journalists have also gone global. I propose a clear division between ethics codes for media owners, the public, and professional journalists and present a set of considerations and specific rules applicable only to the last group. In this article I advocate a universal code of journalistic ethics but point out problems and warn against dangers that have made the (...) application of such codes difficult in the past. A universal code should consider the voluntary nature of such an endeavor, the cultural and economic differences in various journalistic traditions, and the problem of producing solutions acceptable to all involved. (shrink)
Fine (2005, 2006) has presented a ‘trilemma’ concerning the tense-realist idea that reality is constituted by tensed facts. According to Fine, there are only three ways out of the trilemma, consisting in what he takes to be the three main families of tense-realism: ‘presentism’, ‘(external) relativism’, and ‘fragmentalism’. Importantly, although Fine characterises tense-realism as the thesis that reality is constituted (at least in part) by tensed facts, he explicitly claims that tense realists are not committed to their fundamental existence. Recently, (...) Correia and Rosenkranz (2011, 2012) have claimed that Fine’s tripartite map of tense realism is incomplete as it misses a fourth position they call ‘dynamic absolutism’. In this paper, I will argue that dynamic absolutists are committed to the irreducible existence of tensed facts and that, for this reason, they face a similar trilemma concerning the notion of fact-content. I will thus conclude that a generalised version of Fine’s trilemma, concerning both fact-constitution and fact-content, is indeed inescapable. (shrink)
In this article, Roberto Esposito lays out the genealogical pathways linking the three major concepts around which his most recent work has wound its way: community, immunity, and biopolitics. Although immunity is necessary to the preservation of our life, when driven beyond a certain threshold it forces life into a sort of cage where not only our freedom gets lost but also the very meaning of our existence – that opening of existence outside itself that takes the name of (...) communitas. A hermeneutics informed by immunity can allow the category of community to regain a new political significance, without ending up in a substantialist metaphysics. This task is dictated by the urgent need for an affirmative biopolitics – a horizon of meaning – in which life would no longer be the object but somehow the subject of politics. But what sort of shape would this take? Where would we trace its symptoms? And with what objectives? A preliminary answer focuses on breaking the vise grip between public and private that threatens to crush the common, by seeking instead to expand the space of the common, in the fight, for example, against the planned privatization of water and the battle over energy sources. (shrink)
The possibility of changing the past by means of time-travel appears to depend on the possibility of distinguishing the past as it is ‘before’ and ‘after’ the time-travel. So far, all the metaphysical models that have been proposed to account for the possibility of past-changing time-travels operate this distinction by conceiving of time as multi-dimensional, and thus by significantly inflating our metaphysics of time. The aim of this article is to argue that there is an intuitive sense in which past-changing (...) time-travels are metaphysically possible also in one-dimensional time. (shrink)
The aim of this study is to address the “Grounding Grounding Problem,” that is, the question as to what, if anything, grounds facts about grounding. I aim to show that, if a seemingly plausible principle of modal recombination between fundamental facts and the principle customarily called “Entailment” are assumed, it is possible to prove not only that grounding facts featuring fundamental, contingent grounds are derivative but also that either they are partially grounded in the grounds they feature or they are (...) “abysses”. (shrink)
In this paper I address two important objections to the theory called ‘ Composition as Identity’ : the ‘wall-bricks-and-atoms problem’, and the claim that CAI entails mereological nihilism. I aim to argue that the best version of CAI capable of addressing both problems is the theory I will call ‘Atomic Composition as Identity’ which consists in taking the plural quantifier to range only over proper pluralities of mereological atoms and every non-atomic entity to be identical to the plurality of atoms (...) it fuses. I will proceed in three main steps. First, I will defend Sider’s Composition as identity. Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp 211–221, 2014) idea of weakening the comprehension principle for pluralities and I will show that :219–235, 2016a) it can ward off both the WaBrA problem and the threat of mereological nihilism. Second, I will argue that CAI-theorists should uphold an ‘atomic comprehension principle’ which, jointly with CAI, entails that there are only proper pluralities of mereological atoms. Finally, I will present a novel reading of the ‘one of’ relation that not only avoids the problems presented by Yi Composition as identity. Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp 169–191, 2014) and Calosi :429–443, 2016b, Am Philos Q 55:281–292, 2018) but can also help ACAI-theorists to make sense of the idea that a composite entity is both one and many. (shrink)
We provide some meta-theoretical constraints for the evaluation of a-spatial theories of sounds and auditory perception. We point out some forms of spatial content auditory experience can have. If auditory experience does not necessarily have a rich egocentric spatial content, it must have some spatial content for the relevant mode of perception to be recognizably auditory. An auditory experience devoid of any spatial content, if the notion makes sense at all, would be very different from the auditory experiences we actually (...) enjoy. This is enough to dismiss current a-spatial theories of auditory perception. As a consequence, our initial taxonomy of proximal, medial, and distal theories, as well as our phenomenological argument in favor of distal theories, are still topical. (shrink)
Decision theorists have attempted to accommodate several violations of decision theory’s axiomatic requirements by modifying how agents’ choice options are individuated and formally represented. In recent years, prominent authors have worried that these modifications threaten to trivialize decision theory, make the theory unfalsifiable, impose overdemanding requirements on decision theorists, and hamper decision theory’s internal coherence. In this paper, I draw on leading descriptive and normative works in contemporary decision theory to address these prominent concerns. In doing so, I articulate and (...) assess several different criteria for individuating and formally representing agents’ choice options. (shrink)
This article underlines and draws attention to critical insights Esposito makes regarding the prospects of rethinking community in a globalized world. Alongside Agamben and Nancy, Esposito challenges the property prejudice found in mainstream models of community. In identity politics, collective identity is converted into a form of communal property. Borders, sovereign territories, and exclusive rights are fiercely defended in the name of communal property. Esposito responds to this problem by developing what I call a “deontological communal contract” where being and (...) ethics are prioritized over having and economics. I examine this new perspective on community in relation to mainstream models found in contemporary and classical social theory. (shrink)
In this paper, I propose a new nonconceptual reading of the B-Deduction. As Hanna correctly remarks :399–415, 2011: 405), the word “cognition” has in both editions of the first Critique a wide sense, meaning nonconceptual cognition, and a narrow meaning, in Kant’s own words “an objective perception”. To be sure, Kant assumes the first meaning to account for why the Deduction is unavoidable. And if we take this meaning as a premise of the B-Deduction, then there is a gap in (...) the argument since the categories are certainly not conditions for non-conceptual cognition. Still, I believe it is not this wide meaning but rather the narrow one that figures in any premise of the B-Deduction. Thus, in the reading that I am proposing, categories are not conditions for representing something, or even conditions for representing something objectively. Instead, they are conditions for the recognition that what we represent through the senses exists mind-independently. In the first step of the B-Deduction, this cognition in the narrow sense takes the form of the propositional thinking that the nonconceptually represented object of the sensible intuition exists objectively. In contrast, in the second step of the B-Deduction, this cognition in the narrow sense takes the form of the apprehension of what our human senses represent nonconceptually as existing objectively. (shrink)
Ordinary reasoning about space—we argue—is first and foremost reasoning about things or events located in space. Accordingly, any theory concerned with the construction of a general model of our spatial competence must be grounded on a general account of the sort of entities that may enter into the scope of the theory. Moreover, on the methodological side the emphasis on spatial entities (as opposed to purely geometrical items such as points or regions) calls for a reexamination of the conceptual categories (...) required for this task. Building on material presented in an earlier paper, in this work we offer some examples of what this amounts to, of the difficulties involved, and of the main directions along which spatial theories should be developed so as to combine formal sophistication with some affinity with common sense. (shrink)
In recent years, several authors advocated neuroscience imperialism, an instance of scientific imperialism whereby neuroscience methods and findings are systematically applied to model and explain phenomena investigated by other disciplines. Calls for neuroscience imperialism target a wide range of disciplines, including psychology, economics, and philosophy. To date, however, neuroscience imperialism has not received detailed attention by philosophers, and the debate concerning its identification and normative assessment is relatively underdeveloped. In this paper, I aim to remedy this situation by making some (...) conceptual distinctions about neuroscience imperialism and by providing a normative assessment of prominent calls in its favour. I shall articulate and defend two interrelated claims that, I argue, undermine prominent calls for neuroscience imperialism. First, the proponents of neuroscience imperialism significantly overstate the evidential and explanatory relevance of neuroscience methods and findings for the disciplines they target. And second, prominent calls for neuroscience imperialism point to an untenable reductionist position, which rests on unsupported empirical and normative presuppositions. To substantiate these two claims, I shall draw on two sets of influential calls for neuroscience imperialism, which respectively target the economic modelling of choice and entrenched philosophical conceptions of free agency. (shrink)
What is the relationship between persons and things? And how does the body transform this relationship? In this highly original new book, Roberto Esposito - one of Italy’s leading political philosophers - considers these questions and shows that starting from the body, rather than from the thing or the person, can help us to reconsider the status of both. Ever since its beginnings, our civilization has been based on a strict, unequivocal distinction between persons and things, founded on the (...) instrumental domination of persons over things. This opposition arose out of ancient Roman law and persisted throughout modernity, to take its place in our current global market, where it continues to generate growing contradictions. Although the distinction seems to appear clear and necessary to us, what we are continually witnessing in legal, economic, and technological practice is a reversal of perspectives: some categories of persons are becoming assimilated with things, while some types of things are taking on a personal profile. With his customary rigour, Roberto Esposito argues that there exists an escape route out of this paradox, constituted by a new point of view founded in the body. Neither a person nor a thing, the human body becomes the decisive element in rethinking the concepts and values that govern our philosophical, legal, and political lexicons. (shrink)
This paper argues that some of the misunderstandings surrounding the meaning and function of the concept of human dignity in bioethics arise from a lack of distinction between two different roles that this notion plays: one as an overarching policy principle, and the other as a moral standard of patient care. While the former is a very general concept which fulfils a foundational and a guiding role of the normative framework governing biomedical issues, the latter reflects a much more concrete (...) and context-specific understanding of the patient as a “person”. The importance of dignity as a policy principle will be described by appealing to the distinction between principles and rules as developed by some legal philosophers. The value of dignity as a standard of patient care will be illustrated with the help of concrete examples and by drawing on the taxonomies of dignity proposed by Jonathan Mann and other scholars. The overall scope of the article is to highlight this double and complementary role of human dignity in bioethics. (shrink)
The classical Glivenko theorem asserts that a propositional formula admits a classical proof if and only if its double negation admits an intuitionistic proof. By a natural expansion of the BCK-logic with negation we understand an algebraizable logic whose language is an expansion of the language of BCK-logic with negation by a family of connectives implicitly defined by equations and compatible with BCK-congruences. Many of the logics in the current literature are natural expansions of BCK-logic with negation. The validity of (...) the analogous of Glivenko theorem in these logics is equivalent to the validity of a simple one-variable formula in the language of BCK-logic with negation. (shrink)
This paper is concerned with certain ontological issues in the foundations of geographic representation. It sets out what these basic issues are, describes the tools needed to deal with them, and draws some implications for a general theory of spatial representation. Our approach has ramifications in the domains of mereology, topology, and the theory of location, and the question of the interaction of these three domains within a unified spatial representation theory is addressed. In the final part we also consider (...) the idea of non-standard geographies, which may be associated with geography under a classical conception in the same sense in which non-standard logics are associated with classical logic. (shrink)