In Deceit, Desire, and the Novel, René Girard interprets a phenomenon he dubs “metaphysical desire” in which “metaphysical” signifies objects of attraction that are not physical things but rather intangible bi-products of mimetic entanglement—such as prestige or fame or social status. These “metaphysical objects” fuel the sometimes frenzied rivalry between the actors in their grip. Desire in the mimetic theory is always subject to mediation, and Girard distinguishes two modes of mediation: external and internal. In external mediation, the model stands (...) outside the field of play of the imitator; in such cases there can be imitation but not the mutually amplified rivalry that leads to violence and scapegoating. In internal mediation, however, the model/imitators become antagonists. In Girard’s exposition, this difference between mediators provides a first litmus test of violent potential. But Girard’s dichotomy is limited to types of mediation, and another dichotomy is possible, one that distinguishes between types of metaphysical objects: those that are essentially sharable and those inherently not so. This extension of Girard’s mimetic theory can potentially cast great light on Plato’s dialogues. My essay will argue both that Plato understood the double-bind of mimetic entanglement and that his “forms” (at least in the ethical/political realm) can best be understood as metaphysical objects of the sharable kind. My points of reference will be primarily Plato’s Phaedrus and Book IX of the Republic (with pointers to Aristotle’s analysis of philia in Book VIII of the Nicomachean Ethics). (shrink)
The principle of selection necessarily follows if we accept that a poem is a verbal structure of a very complex kind involving the interaction of all kinds of elements—ideas, images, rhythms, rhetorical features, narrative, logical patterns, whatever. The possible relationships among all these elements seem infinite or at least, in Frye's phrase, unlimited. Hence, a definitive critique of any work seems, even in theory, impossible. It is hard to see how the human mind could consciously contemplate, much less articulate, all (...) aspects at once, even in short pieces; as the various aspects are enumerated, we begin to lose sight of the wood for the trees, to lose our grip on the integrated whole which we at least partially intuit at a given moment in time. And so many are the attitudes and interests which may be brought to bear upon a poem that the critique which once seemed definitive soon seems incomplete to the critic after a further reading, for every time we read a work of any complexity, we find something new; and even the less sensitive know that each new school of criticism, not to mention each latest shift in politics, society, or psychology, will throw at least some of our masterpieces into a new light. As for translation, the only way to avoid it would be wholesale quotation, and even that would be a partial translation in that it would alter the poet's total meaning by substituting a part for the whole. John C. Sherwood, professor of English at the University of Oregon, is the author of articles on Dryden, modern literature, and English composition. He is currently at work on an annotated bibliography of R. S. Crane. (shrink)
This book represents the most comprehensive attempt to date to explore and test Derrida's contribution and influence on the study of theology, biblical studies, and the philosophy of religion. Over the course of the last decade, the writings of Derrida and the key concepts that emerge from his work such as the gift, apocalypse, hospitality, and messianism have wrought far-reaching and irresistible changes in the way that scholars approach biblical texts, comparative religious studies, and religious violence, for instance, as well (...) as the way they understand basic religious themes as myth, creation, forgiveness, one-ness, and multiplicity. In addition to original contributions from over twenty highly-regarded scholars including John Caputo, Daniel Boyarin, Edith Wyschogrod, Tim Beal, and Gil Anidjar, the volume opens with a lengthy interview with Derrida. (shrink)
We give an overview of the practice of developing and using complex climate models, as seen from experiences in a major climate modelling center and through participation in the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project. We discuss the construction and calibration of models; their evaluation, especially through use of out-of-sample tests; and their exploitation in multi-model ensembles to identify biases and make predictions. We stress that adequacy or utility of climate models is best assessed via their skill against more naïve predictions. The (...) framework we use for making inferences about reality using simulations is naturally Bayesian, and has many points of contact with more familiar examples of scientific epistemology. While the use of complex simulations in science is a development that changes much in how science is done in practice, we argue that the concepts being applied fit very much into traditional practices of the scientific method, albeit those more often associated with laboratory work. (shrink)
We review the dream ESP studies conducted since the end of the Maimonides research programme. Combined effect size estimates for both sets of studies suggest that judges could correctly identify target materials more often than would be expected by chance using dream mentation. Maimonides studies were significantly more successful than post-Maimonides studies, which may be due to procedural differences, including that post-Maimonides receivers tended to sleep at home and were generally not deliberately awakened from REM sleep. Methodological shortcomings of some (...) studies are discussed. Nevertheless, home dream ESP research has been successful and continues to be a less expensive and less labour-intensive alternative to sleep-laboratory-based research. We hope that interest in dream ESP research will be re-awakened. (shrink)
This volume offers the first English language collection of academic essays on the post-Holocaust thought of Jean Améry, a Jewish-Austrian-Belgian essayist, journalist and literary author. Comprehensive in scope and multi-disciplinary in orientation, contributors explore central aspects of Améry's philosophical and ethical position, including dignity, responsibility, resentment, and forgiveness.
Cornell University and Zamorano (ThePanamerican School of Agriculture) facilitatedworkshops that provided Honduran and Nicaraguanfarmers new experience with plant diseases and helpedfarmers assimilate information and identify diseasemanagement alternatives. After learning about thebiology of plant diseases, farmers were able toidentify disease problems in their field, enablingthem to use pesticides more selectively. Furthermore,participants of seven courses conceived 273 pathogen-specificmanagement alternatives, and they identifiedon average 66 percent of the common recommendations by plantpathologists for the control of general disease types.Many ideas were novel and may (...) represent newopportunities for improving the practice of diseasemanagement. (shrink)
Güinope, Honduras was the site of a highly acclaimed people-centered development project in the 1980s. The ACORDE/Ministry of Natural Resource/World Neighbors Integrated Development Program (IDP) was unique for its time, since rather than relying on technology transfer, it promoted innovation skills for local generation of responses to needs. Furthermore, it was one of the first efforts in Latin America to employ villagers as principal agents of change. Fifteen years after the inception of the IDP and ten years after its completion, (...) the authors interviewed farmers in their fields and held a series of participatory workshops over eighteen months with ten outstanding farmers who had become project leaders. The leaders identified influential factors behind their involvement and produced recommendations for rural development interventions. Further, a generalized concept map typifying ideal characteristics for farmer promoters was constructed. Recommendations for development agencies centered on project design and implementation, demanding a methodology for strengthening local innovative capacities, participation, and control over resources. Ultimately, the leaders downplayed the role of technologies in rural development and called for special attention to enabling communities to confront external pressures, in particular recent government ``modernization'' policies, that they felt threatened community livelihood. (shrink)
Depression is ranked as most common type of mental illness by the World Health Organization. Although cognitive behavioural therapy is recommended as the evidence-based psychological treatment of choice, this applies mostly to youthful, attractive, verbal, intelligent and successful persons with medical aid support in high income countries. More holistic counselling that includes holistic, verbal and non-verbal, expressive therapeutic modalities are more suitable for the planetary majority. Consequently, this study describes the process and effectiveness of philophonetics counselling with a sample of (...) ten depressed clients seeking clinical psychological services in Zululand, South Africa, a region and country beset with considerable violence, crime illness and unemployment. Client reports of effectiveness of philophonetics counselling warrants further intervention and evaluative research, with special reference to wider community psychological applications of this expressive therapeutic modality via primary health care facilities, online courses and mobile technology. (shrink)
Recent debates about the legacy (and, sometimes, surpassing) of Derridean philosophy have often oriented themselves around questions of a new austerity in relation to the implicit philosophical functioning of God. Indeed, an increasing philosophical vigilance about the death or nonexistence of God has begun to be presented as a hallmark of recent criticisms of earlier receptions of Derrida and, by way of messianic structures of time, of Derridean politics as well. We argue that the inflating value of atheism in recent (...) texts operates most effectively within a broader forgetfulness of the many modes in which a serial dying of gods constitutes a more fundamental quality of the religio-political archive than the stability or life of these gods. We find, moreover, there to be something comical about a reconfiguration of the ontotheological archive around a tableau of serially dying Gods, this God who cannot stabilize or maintain for long any system of divine life support. Most importantly, we find that our sense of comedy is itself indicative of important shifts within the stylistics of Derridean discussions of auto-immunity and supplement which have yet to be worked through with any real seriousness. In this respect, our reflections pair Bergson's reflections on the universe as a ‘machine for the manufacture of gods’ with Bergson's explorations of comedy as a fundamentally mechanical affair. The serially dying gods of our religious and philosophical traditions are best understood in the same modes as Bergson's comedy, often marked by an automatism of everyday mechanisms of life which outlive their useful functioning. (shrink)
The purpose of this paper is to examine what heals and harms the client in the psychotherapeutic encounter, from the client's perspective. The experience of eight clients was explicated using a model based on Giorgi and Schweitzer. The counselling experienced as healing by clients has at its core a vibrantly warm and honest relationship where the client feels held in the safety of the good heart space of the counsellor. The counsellor is experienced as providing an intense beingness for the (...) client that embraces the client's suffering and provides solid ground created out of the crucible of the counsellor's own encounter with his or her shadow. The counsellor is emptied out of his/her own agenda and provides space for the client's experience. The counsellor can evoke the higher resources of the client. The counselling is experienced as renewing and reconnecting the clients to his/her sense of self, of other and the lifeworld. The counselling relationship experienced as harming is described as being drained of human presence and transforming power. There is no alive human connection. The counsellor is experienced as insubstantial, and has no ability to hold traumatic experience. The counsellor's cold reception to the client's vulnerabilities has the power to shatter, fragment and splinter the client. The counsellor is full of self. This fullness may be ego that manifests as dry intellectualising or playing manipulative games as a substitute for human presence. This may lead the client to terror, sickness and anxiety. The counsellor may be full of their own fears and are experienced by the client as chaotic, avoidant and overwhelmed. Their unavailability leads clients to experience emotional depletion, exhaustion and frustration. The counsellor's self-righteousness, judgement and critical disengagement are experienced by clients as being belittled, condemned and diminished. The therapeutic encounter results in a weakening of the human potential for recovery. Both client and counsellor emerge as lesser human beings, with weakened relationships to self, others and the world. Indo-Pacific Journal of Phenomenology , Volume 1, Edition 2 September 2001. (shrink)
The idea of a neuromuscular synergy involving independent amplitude commands to the agonist and antagonist musculature is quite an appealing part of Plamondon's theory. One question that might be raised relates to the relative independence of the two commands. Evidence is presented that suggests that the two commands might be related in sequential or simultaneous rapid aiming movements.
_ Source: _Volume 35, Issue 1, pp 95 - 118 In De veritate, sacrifice is appealed to as a universal rite and the ultimate guarantee of immutable truth, beyond reasonable deduction or natural instinct. But sacrifice also stands as the ultimate example of the abrogation and alteration of law. As an example of the abrogation of law, sacrifice signifies in both directions. The case of Abraham demonstrates God’s sovereign power of dispensatio. Divine right to radical revision is demonstrated in the (...) command to sacrifice. But more generally it is the suspension of the command to sacrifice that stands as the ultimate sign of sovereign right not just to annotate but to radically rewrite the law. In this paper I explore how sacrifice operates as a guarantee of immutability and mutability: the intractability of scripture, and its equally necessary revision and alteration. Sacrifice reaches across all time and space, and stands as a sign of the parochialisation of biblical time and space. This tension relates to the principle of accommodation which, I argue, is already in operation in the Bible. By extrapolating this fundamentally biblical operation, Grotius produces a paradox that will help to sustain the Bible in modernity. The Bible is localised and parochialised but also persists as a ‘universal’ foundation. (shrink)
There has been considerable public debate on a range of complementary health practices throughout the western world, perhaps especially in Australia, United States and Europe. Most often, the research critique of these practices is restricted to quantitative or non-user qualitative research methodologies. Consequently, there is a significant gap in the research profile of complementary health services that needs to be addressed particularly in view of the rapid and ongoing increase in the use of complementary services, even in the face of (...) sometimes adverse media publicity. This paper demonstrates the contribution that phenomenologically based research can make to fill this lacuna by explicating, in detail, the client experience of a complementary health practice. The paper explores patient experience of a ginger compress, as applied by anthroposophically trained nurses, to demonstrate various therapeutic effects. Four key themes emerged including an increase in warmth and internal activity in the major organs of the body, changes in thought-life and sensory perception along with a greater sense of well-being and self-focus with the perception of clearer personal boundaries. These themes, emerging from a patient sample in New Zealand, compared favourably to the Filderklinik Study completed in 1992 in a large German state hospital. Indo-Pacific Journal of Phenomenology , Volume 4, Edition 1 July 2004. (shrink)