First published in 1932, this book, based on an address delivered in 1931, presents a concise and lucid summary of the philosophy of the author of _The Decline of the West_, Oswald Spengler. It was his conviction that the technical age — the culture of the machine age — which man had created in virtue of his unique capacity for individual as well as racial technique, had already reached its peak, and that the future held only catastrophe. He argued (...) it lacked progressive cultural life and instead was dominated by a lust for power and possession. The triumph of the machine led to mass regimentation rather than fewer workers and less work — spelling the doom of Western civilization. (shrink)
Ideomotor theory of human action control proposes that activation of a motor representation can occur either through internally-intended or externally-perceived actions. Critically, sometimes these alternatives of eliciting a motor response may be conflicting, for example, when intending one action and perceiving another, necessitating the recruitment of enhanced action-control to avoid motor mimicry. Based on previous neuroimaging evidence, suggesting that reduced mimicry is associated with self-related processing, we aimed to experimentally enhance these action-control mechanisms during motor contagion by inducing self-focus. In (...) two within-subjects experiments, participants had to enforce their action intention against an external motor contagion tendency under heightened and normal self-focus. During high self-focus participants showed reduced motor mimicry, induced either by mirror self-observation or self-referential judgments. This indicates that a self-focus provoking situation can enhance online action-control mechanisms, needed to resist unintentional motor contagion tendencies and thereby enables a modulation of automatic mirroring responses. (shrink)
This paper examines the concept of liberty at the heart of Sarah Chapone’s 1735 work, The Hardships of the English Laws in Relation to Wives. In this work, Chapone (1699-1764) advocates an ideal of freedom from domination that closely resembles the republican ideal in seventeenth and eighteenth- century England. This is the idea that an agent is free provided that no-one else has the power to dispose of that agent’s property—her “life, liberty, and limb” and her material possessions—according to (...) his arbitrary will and pleasure, without being accountable to the law. This paper shows how Chapone uses this ideal to ground her arguments against those laws that put married women in a worse condition than slavery, and to call for the establishment of reasonable and just safeguards for a woman’s personal property and property in her children. More than this, it is argued, in this text Chapone articulates a feminist ideal that is both negative freedom from domination and positive freedom to be one’s own master or arbiter. Her work thus occupies a unique—and hitherto unrecognized—place in the history of feminist philosophy. (shrink)
La meditación sobre la técnica parece haber sido la pregunta fundamental del siglo xx. En este artículo se comparan dos visiones de la técnica: la de O. Spengler y la de J. Ortega y Gasset. Estas meditaciones vienen a esbozar una antropología. La reflexión de Spengler es más determinista y está ligada al concepto de decadencia. La reflexión de Ortega está más abierta a las oportunidades y más ligada al concepto de circunstancia.
Sarah Grand was one of the most prominent New Women of the 1890s and a notable social purity feminist and suffragist. This collection offers important insights into the full range of her journalistic output and lesser-known fictional writings. It also makes available biographical and autobiographical material, and previously unpublished manuscript sources. The first volume reproduces Grand's articles and the contemporary critical reception of her work. The letters in volume two, written mostly in the 1920s and 1930s, shed light on (...) Grand's genesis as a writer and her interaction with 1890s artistic and feminist circles. The third and fourth volumes contain a selection of short stories from three collections published at and after the turn of the century. These comment on some of the explosive issues of that time: feminism, decadence, eugenics, class, race and war. They also reflect Grand's exploration of the interplay between gender and genre. (shrink)
Spengler’s work is typically represented as speculative philosophy of history. However, I argue that there is good reason to consider much of his thought as preoccupied with existential and phenomenological questions about the nature and ends of human existence, rather than with history per se. In this paper I consider Spengler’s work in comparison with Heidegger’s history of Being and analysis of technological modernity. I argue that Spengler’s considerable proximity to much of Heidegger’s thought compels us to (...) reconsider the nature and scope of Spengler’s philosophical project. (shrink)
This paper argues that Oswald Spengler has an innovative philosophical position on the nature and interrelation of mathematics and science. It further argues that his position in many ways parallels that of Martin Heidegger. Both held that an appreciation of the mathematical nature of contemporary science was critical to a proper appreciation of science, technology and modernity. Both also held that the fundamental feature of modern science is its mathematical nature, and that the mathematical operates as a projection that (...) establishes in advance the manner in which an object will present itself. They also assert that modern science, mathematics and metaphysics all have their roots in the ‘mathematical’, whose essence is itself nothing numerical. (shrink)
Haack classifies Spengler’s views on the end of science as what she terms annihilationist in that he forecasts the absolute termination of scientific activity as opposed to its completion or culmination. She also argues that in addition to his externalist argument that Western science, as cultural product, cannot survive the demise of Western Culture, Spengler also puts forward an internalist argument that science, regardless of the imminent demise of Western Culture, is in terminal decline as evidenced by its (...) diminishing returns. I argue against Haack that Spengler’s argument for the diminishing returns of modern science is in fact an externalist one, in that he locates the sources of science’s current decline outside the discipline of science itself, attributing them to a change in cultural attitude towards scientific endeavours. I further argue that Spengler’s prediction of the imminent end of science was directed specifically at pure science, and that he in fact held that applied science would continue to develop. I also take issue with Haack’s suggestion that Spengler’s views on science were outmoded at the time that he wrote them. (shrink)
There are too many people on the planet. This isn’t a popular thing to say, but it’s becoming more and more obvious that it’s true, and that we need to do something to address it. Even in our radically unjust world, where billions of people do not have adequate access to food, water, energy, and other resources, we’re still living unsustainably—overcharging our ecological credit card and torching the climate. But discussing the link between these environmental problems and the population is (...) uncomfortable, because many people believe that procreation is an essentially private act that is morally and politically off-limits. In her new book, One Child, Sarah Conly argues that this belief is false: If... (shrink)
Oswald Spengler (1880?1936) is a neglected figure in the history of European philosophical thought. This article examines the philosophical anthropology developed in his later work, particularly his Man and Technics: A Contribution to a Philosophy of Life (1931). My purpose is twofold: the first is to argue that Spengler's later thought is a response to criticisms of the ?pessimism? of his earlier work, The Decline of the West (1919). Man and Technics overcomes this charge by providing a novel (...) philosophical anthropology which identifies technology as the highest expression of human cognitive and creative capacities. The second is to suggest that in his later period Spengler presents an affirmatory account of modern technology as the final stage of human cultural evolution. I conclude that by providing a philosophical anthropology that reconciles technology with human nature, Man and Technics represents an important development of Spengler's theory of human culture. (shrink)
In his Vermischte Bemerkungen 43, Wittgenstein notices that he was also influenced by Oswald Spengler. The paper deals with the question of in which way Spengler influenced Wittgenstein’s late works and if it really was influence or only a coincidence of ideas. It is put forward that Spengler’s rather unknown philosophy of language influenced Wittgenstein’s philosophy of language, especially the concepts of family resemblance, antiessentialism, and language-game (Sprachspiel). A picture of the famous Neapolitan gesture of “negation” which (...) motivated Wittgenstein to give up the picture theory of language is also shown with an example taken from Andrea de Jorio, La mimica degli antichi investigala nel gestire napoletano, Napoli 1832. (shrink)
This review looks at Sarah Hoagland's Lesbian Ethics from the position of a lesbian who is also a cultural participant in a colonized heterosexualist culture within the powerful context of its colonizing heterosexualist culture . From this position separation from heterosexualism acquires great complexity since the position described is that of a plural self. In Lesbian Ethics lesbian community is the community of separation where demoralization is avoided by auto-koenonous selves. Because heterosexualism is not a cross-cultural or international system (...) but a series of systems some of which dominate over others and threaten their extinction , lesbian pluralism cannot be achieved through the inclusion of lesbians of different cultures, classes and situations in a separating group. Neither the need for nor the value of separation from heterosexualism are undermined by the increased complexity that this position adds to the analysis. (shrink)
Following the tradition of feminist philosophers and scholars of science from the 1980s onward such as Evelyn Fox-Keller, Helen Longino, Anne Fausto-Sterling, and others who revealed how popular notions of masculinity and femininity infiltrated and shaped the content of scientific knowledge, Sarah S. Richardson's book Sex Itself: The Search for Male and Female in the Human Genome deserves a place on the shelf with this canonical literature. It addresses one of the most celebrated symbols of biological sex binary: the (...) X and Y chromosomes. The X and Y chromosomes, we learn, were not given the role of "sex chromosomes" upon their discovery in 1890 and 1905, respectively. Their transformation into the ultimate... (shrink)
When a mother deliberately harms her child, it is tempting to assume that she must be either insane or lacking the "natural" love of a mother for her children. We want to believe that such mothers have almost nothing in common with "good" mothers. Drawing extensively on empirical research, Sarah LaChance Adams' Mad Mothers, Bad Mothers, and What A "Good" Mother Would Do shows that maternal ambivalence, simultaneous desires to nurture and violently reject one's children, is both common and (...) reasonable, the result of genuine conflicts between mothers' interests and those of their children. Both appropriate support and deliberative agency are necessary to avoid maternal ambivalence... (shrink)
Sarah Conly's One Child is a substantive treatment of the extent to which procreative freedom is curtailed by rising global population and the environmental problems to which it contributes. This review provides an overview of the book's content and closes with a few critical remarks. The book is highly recommended for those interested in the intersection between environmental ethics and the ethics of procreation.
Sarah Orne Jewett, who lived from 1849 to 1909, witnessed a revolution in medicine that led to the formation of the medical profession as it is recognised today. By comparing two of the author’s works, one written at the outset of her career and the other written much later, this paper discusses how Jewett’s views about women’s role in medicine changed and developed. In the first novel, A Country Doctor, a young Jewett celebrates the new-found power of scientific medicine (...) in the period directly after germ theory was widely adopted. The author depicts a female physician as a pioneer bravely breaking into a male-dominated field. Later, in The Country of the Pointed Firs, Jewett’s depiction of a female medical practitioner is much more nuanced— the matured writer’s views are accompanied by discrete but deep-seated criticisms of medical ideology as she saw it developing. The comparison of these novels gives us insight into Jewett’s world, and leaves questions for readers today. Most importantly, how should women today approach traditional medicine given the discipline’s deeply misogynist roots? Jewett’s unique perspectives serve as a catalyst for this discussion. (shrink)
In his 1916 preface to Democracy and Education, John Dewey comments that the main goal of his book was “to detect and state the ideas implied in a democratic society and to apply these ideas to the problems and enterprise of education. The discussion includes an indication of the constructive aims and methods of public education as seen from this point of view.”1 More than 100 years later, Sarah M. Stitzlein confirms Dewey’s ideas and expands his scholarship to defend (...) the political legitimacy of public education in the United States. She argues that public schools should enable children to become good citizens who engage in the pursuit of individual happiness, while fighting for social justice. Stitzlein contends... (shrink)
This article presents an overview of Oswald Spengler's theory of civilization based upon his `first' and `second' philosophies of history. The `late' Spengler left behind his more aesthetic and historicist understanding of civilization, turning to philosophical anthropology. Spengler lost confidence that a new great culture would someday emerge. While Samuel Huntington in The Clash of Civilizations argues that civilizational pluralism is growing and anticipates a non-Western civilization eventually succeeding a West in decline, dialog with Spengler suggests (...) otherwise. (shrink)
Most of our histories of philosophy, in our books and especially in our courses, are what William James called “appreciative chronicle[s] of human master-strokes”. They resemble tours of grand and isolated monuments. Sarah Hutton’s magnificent British Philosophy in the Seventeenth Century is a different kind of history, in which masterpieces are placed in conversation with books that are now neglected or all but forgotten. By means of this “conversation model,” Hutton provides what she justly terms “a ‘thick description’ of (...) seventeenth-century culture, setting marginal and ‘major’ thinkers within [an]… integrated account of... (shrink)
Masterpieces by Sarah Daniels has been described as a voice in the debate on pornography, expressing the anti-pornography position as opposed to the liberal feminist stance in this debate. Despite its ideological clarity reported by many reviewers and critics, the play has been commented upon as deficient or inadequate because of evoking conflicting interpretations and ambiguity. The paper argues that these deficiencies stem from the play’s concern with the distribution of agency and passivity along gender lines as well as (...) the influence of generic and essentialist notions of genders on the perception of social and individual power relations particularly in the domain of eroticism and sexuality. One of the key issues of the play is the question to what extent and in what ways human perception is conditioned by the place of the subject in relation to the agency/passivity dichotomy and his or her viewing/reading position in relation to erotic and pornographic material. (shrink)
: This article examines Sarah Kofman's interpretation of Nietzsche in light of the claim that interpretation was for her both an articulation of her identity and a mode of deconstructing the very notion of identity. Faulkner argues that Kofman's work on Nietzsche can be understood as autobiographical, in that it served to mediate a relation to her self. Faulkner examines this relation with reference to Klein's model of the child's connection to its mother. By examining Kofman's later writings on (...) Nietzsche alongside her autobiography, this article contends that Kofman's defense of anti-Semitism in Nietzsche serves to fend off her own ambivalence about being Jewish. (shrink)
Sarah Hoagland suggests that through developing the method of "attending" and the ethics of "autokoenony," individual integrity and agency will result. While acknowledging the utility of these ideals for many lesbians and wimmin, I argue that Hoagland's thesis is, regrettably, not universally applicable.
What is philosophy? What is metaphor? Could thinking take place metaphorically? If one follows the mainstream Western definition of philosophy, the answer to the latter question would certainly be negative. Metaphors are perceived as primitive, pre-analytical, and imprecise—thus pre-philosophical! Drawing on multiple cross-cultural resources, Metaphor and Metaphilosophy: Philosophy as Combat, Play, and Aesthetic Experience by Sarah A. Mattice insightfully challenges this widespread assumption in the current...
In her review of my book How we remember: Brain mechanisms of episodic memory, Sarah Robins highlights my example of the problem of interference between memories accessed by content-addressable memory. However, she points out the difficulty of solving this problem with index-addressable representations such as time cells or arc length cells. Namely, the index-addressable memory requires knowing the unique index in advance in order to perform effective retrieval. This is a difficult problem, but should be solvable by forming bi-directional (...) associations between an index-addressable sequence of time cells and an array of content-addressable features in the environment. (shrink)
We have been teaching gender issues and feminist theory for many years, and we know that there is certainly a diversity of views among women, and men, about what counts as feminist or as good for women. Some may see a competent woman running for V.P as inevitably a step forward for women's equality. But consider this.
This article examines Sarah Kofman's interpretation of Nietzsche in light of the claim that interpretation was for her both an articulation of her identity and a mode of deconstructing the very notion of identity. Faulkner argues that Kofman's work on Nietzsche can be understood as autobiographical, in that it served to mediate a relation to her self. Faulkner examines this relation with reference to Klein's model of the child's connection to its mother. By examining Kofman's later writings on Nietzsche (...) alongside her autobiography, this article contends that Kofman's defense of anti-Semitism in Nietzsche serves to fend off her own ambivalence about being Jewish. (shrink)
Perspicuous representation, Wittgenstein offers, is not another methodology, but it consists in seeing the connections. The Wittgensteinian perspicuous representation is therapeutic. The method he suggests for philosophy is the same method he suggests for social sciences. In both of these cases, he tries to get us to see the confusions we become entangled in when philosophizing and theorizing. In both of these disciplines he warns us not to advance explanatory, metaphysical theories. In this paper, I connect this concern with Wittgenstein’s (...) critique of Frazer. In criticizing Frazer, Wittgenstein adopts the important part of Spengler’s view. Nonetheless, there are differences between Wittgenstein’s views and those of Spengler; this paper aims to show similarities as well as these differences. The first part of the paper briefly summarizes Frazer’s views. The second part focuses on Wittgenstein’s critique of Frazer concerning science and technology. The third part gives an account of his critique regarding method of social sciences and philosophy. The last part concentrates on Wittgenstein’s critique of Frazer pertaining to the tolerance towards alternative forms of life. Key Words: context-free vacuum • evolutionary explanation • incommensurability • methodology of social sciences • perspicuous representation • science • technology • tolerance • totem and taboo. (shrink)
This paper is an approach to the context in which Dawson's work originated as well as to the main critiques of the works by Oswald Spengler, Arnold Toynbee and Thomas S. Eliot, with whom he differed on how to address the study of culture. The contrasts between Dawson and the views of these authors are significant and help to refine the concept of culture Dawson used in his philosophy. The paper highlights both Dawson's perspective and what separates or brings (...) him closer to these authors. Conclusions are drawn about the elements Dawson took from each one of them. (shrink)
RÉSUMÉ Notre article traite de l’interprétation heideggerienne du Surhomme chez Nietzsche en prenant en considération tout particulièrement sa désignation comme forme dans les cours de 1939-1946 qui constituent, sous plusieurs aspects, la culmination du « différend » avec lui. En effet, si anthropomorphie et subjectivité s'appartiennent mutuellement dans la métaphysique moderne, cette coappartenance trouve son achèvement chez le Surhomme. Elle indique par ailleurs la forclusion du sujet nietzschéen dans la logique de la négation, témoignage de la tentative heideggerienne pour « (...) dialectiser » Nietzsche. C’est ainsi qu’une continuité s'établit entre sa position métaphysique et la dialectique hégélienne. Par ailleurs, nous nous efforçons de projeter cette interprétation réductrice sur la critique par Heidegger d’une des figures majeures du néohégélianisme au tournant du siècle, à savoir Oswald Spengler, telle qu’elle a lieu dans ses cours de l’herméneutique de la facticité. Notre stratégie interprétative est fidèle au principe interprétatif qui consiste à dire que le Heidegger d’avant Être et Temps, nous offre les outils nécessaires pour aborder certains motifs essentiels du développement ultérieur de sa pensée dont notamment sa confrontation avec la métaphysique. ABSTRACT This paper focuses on Heidegger's interpretation of the Ubermensch with a special emphasis on his designation as a form developped mainly in the 1939-1946 lecture courses on Nietzsche. The belonging- together of “unconditional” subjectivity and anthropomorphism reaches its completion in the “form” of the Ubermensch, while it also witnesses its forclosure in the logic of negativity. Consequently, a direct continuity is established between Nietzsche's metaphysical position and Hegel's dialectics. By taking this unexpected affinity as a starting point, we go back to Heidegger's early critique of hegelianism and especially of Spengler's project of a morphology of the cultures in his hermeneutics of facticity. This interpretative strategy unfolds according to the principle that the first steps on Heidegger's path of thinking offer us the necessary conceptual tools in order to come to terms with the later developments of his confrontation with metaphysics. (shrink)
SummarySince first appearance, reviews and accounts of The Fresh-Water Fishes of Great Britain have been surprisingly few. All agree that this rare work is remarkable for its illustrations. Its importance as a whole in the history of ichthyology, however, is largely unknown, or ignored. This article therefore constitutes the first study of the textual and contextual significance of The Fresh-Water Fishes of Great Britain. By examining in chronological order where, and by whom, the work was first reviewed and referenced until (...) the 1860s, the extraordinary contributions that its author, Sarah Bowdich, made to ichthyology at the forefront of the field in the late 1820s can better be appreciated. Indeed, this multiple evidence demonstrates Sarah Bowdich's merits as an ichthyologist of the first order, and as the first woman ichthyologist. But establishing the significance of The Fresh-Water Fishes of Great Britain for the history of ichthyology then raises a further question. Why has it and its author been so ignored or forgotten? By returning for answers to the fields of ichthyology already considered, the article proposes that Sarah Bowdich's different angles on fish offer lines of investigation that are still important for the field today. (shrink)
Although to what extent Oswald Spengler served as a forerunner or precursor of National Socialism remains controversial, scholars unanimously agree that he was a virulent antidemocratic thinker. Indeed, the mere mentioning of his name immediately conjures up among students of German political philosophy associations of intense antidemocratic sentiment. The epithet of virulent opponent of democracy is certainly well-deserved for the period in his political-philosophical development when he was famous, spanning 1919, the year the heated controversy surrounding his major work (...) The Decline of the West erupted, to his untimely death in 1936. Yet what about the little-known, but important phase in the evolution of Spengler's political thought, the years immediately before the shocking military collapse of Imperial Germany and the outbreak of socialist revolution in the fall of 1918 aroused the hostility of the entire right against Germany's first democracy? These were years when Spengler, as an unknown private scholar industriously composing his chef-d'oeuvre, was politically inactive. Was Spengler passionately anti-democratic before he became an embittered man? The following investigation of this rather obscure but important period in his thought, which draws heavily upon his private papers in the Spengler Archives, surprisingly reveals that he was not vehemently antidemocratic during this time and was, in fact, a cynical and opportunistic conservative advocate of the idea of the quasi-democratization of the Second Reich. Spengler scholars, it should be noted, including among others Anton Mirko Koktanek, Gilbert Merlio, H. Stuart Hughes, Klemens von Klemperer, Horst Moller, Walter Struve and Detlef Felken, do not argue this novel position as they are not of the opinion that any significant changes in his attitude towards democratization in Germany took place in his intellectual career. (shrink)
Sarah Franklin’s Biological relatives: IVF, stem cells, and the future of kinship and Charis Thompson’s Good science: the ethical choreography of stem cell research, examine recently normalized biotechnologies. Franklin’s monograph extends her previous work on in vitro fertilization , deconstructing the success of a technology that, she argues, has grown “curiouser and curiouser” while taking hold in scientific and social life. IVF in its diverse aspects becomes a lens for scrutinizing our ambivalence about new technology, which Franklin articulates by (...) putting disparate literatures into conversation: feminist science studies, political economy, fine art, and more. Thompson’s Good science focuses more concretely on the first decade of human pluripotent stem cell research, tracing the field from the innovation of cultured human embryonic stem cells through Bush-era policy debates, to current acceptance of stem cell research as a part of the scientific and policy landscape. Th .. (shrink)