The following interview of Mark William Westmoreland with Anthony PaulSmith – well-known scholar and translator of François Laruelle – considers both implications and extensions of Laruelle's non-philosophy for contemporary thought. Smith has helped bring about a surge of interest in Laruelle due to his many translations of his texts as well as being the author or co-editor of several books on Laruelle. Discussed are in particular the difficulties and joys of translating and the usefulness of Laruelle's (...) thought for Smith's own work, especially in environmental and animal studies. Also considered are some themes of non-philosophy, the adaptability of Laruelle's thought for various disciplines, as well as new paths for Laruelle studies – new, unforeseen landscapes and uses of non-philosophy – that explore social phenomena such as race, racism, sexism, victim a.o. (shrink)
Why would God make us ask for some good He might supply, and why would it be right for God to withhold that good unless and until we asked for it? We explain why present defences of petitionary prayer are insufficient, but argue that a world in which God makes us ask for some goods and then supplies them in response to our petitions adds value to the world that would not be available in worlds in which God simply supplied (...) such goods without our asking for them. This added value, we argue, is what we call ‘partnership with God’. (shrink)
This collection of essays argues that any valid theory of the modern should—indeed must—reckon with the medieval. Offering a much-needed correction to theorists such as Hans Blumenberg, who in his _Legitimacy of the Modern Age_ describes the “modern age” as a complete departure from the Middle Ages, these essays forcefully show that thinkers from Adorno to Žižek have repeatedly drawn from medieval sources to theorize modernity. To forget the medieval, or to discount its continued effect on contemporary thought, is to (...) neglect the responsibilities of periodization. In _The Legitimacy of the Middle Ages_, modernists and medievalists, as well as scholars specializing in eighteenth-, nineteenth-, and twentieth-century comparative literature, offer a new history of theory and philosophy through essays on secularization and periodization, Marx’s theory of commodity fetishism, Heidegger’s scholasticism, and Adorno’s nominalist aesthetics. One essay illustrates the workings of medieval mysticism in the writing of Freud’s most famous patient, Daniel Paul Schreber, author of _Memoirs of My Nervous Illness_. Another looks at Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri’s _Empire_, a theoretical synthesis whose conscientious medievalism was the subject of much polemic in the post-9/11 era, a time in which premodernity itself was perceived as a threat to western values. The collection concludes with an afterword by Fredric Jameson, a theorist of postmodernism who has engaged with the medieval throughout his career. _Contributors_: Charles D. Blanton, Andrew Cole, Kathleen Davis, Michael Hardt, Bruce Holsinger, Fredric Jameson, Ethan Knapp, Erin Labbie, Jed Rasula, D. Vance Smith, Michael Uebel. (shrink)
Research into child language reveals that it takes a long time for children to learn the correct mapping of colour words. Steels & Belpaeme's (S&B's) guessing game, however, models fast learning of words. We discuss computational studies based on cross-situational learning, which yield results that are more consistent with the empirical child language data than those obtained by S&B.
When people encounter potential hazards, their expectations and behaviours can be shaped by a variety of factors including other people's expressions of verbal likelihood. What is the impact of such expressions when a person also has numeric likelihood estimates from the same source? Two studies used a new task involving an abstract virtual environment in which people learned about and reacted to novel hazards. Verbal expressions attributed to peers influenced participants’ behaviour toward hazards even when numeric estimates were also available. (...) Namely, verbal expressions suggesting that the likelihood of harm from a hazard is low yielded more risk taking with respect to said hazard. There were also inverse collateral effects, whereby participants’ behaviour and estimates regarding another hazard in the same context were affected in the opposite direction. These effects may be based on directionality and relativity cues inferred from verbal likelihood expressions. (shrink)
Andrew F. Smith argues that citizens of divided societies have three powerful incentives to engage in public deliberation_in free, open, and reasoned dialogue aimed at contributing to the establishment of well-developed laws. When contesting for political influence, or pursuing the enshrinement of one's convictions in law, deliberating publicly is a necessary condition for taking oneself to be a responsible moral, epistemic, and religious agent.
Epistemic Responsibility and Democratic Justification Content Type Journal Article Pages 297-302 DOI 10.1007/s11158-011-9147-1 Authors Andrew F. Smith, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA, USA Journal Res Publica Online ISSN 1572-8692 Print ISSN 1356-4765 Journal Volume Volume 17 Journal Issue Volume 17, Number 3.
Widely regarded as one of the most important and influential sports books of all time, C. L. R. James's _Beyond a Boundary_ is—among other things—a pioneering study of popular culture, an analysis of resistance to empire and racism, and a personal reflection on the history of colonialism and its effects in the Caribbean. More than fifty years after the publication of James's classic text, the contributors to _Marxism, Colonialism, and Cricket_ investigate _Beyond a Boundary_'s production and reception and its implication (...) for debates about sports, gender, aesthetics, race, popular culture, politics, imperialism, and English and Caribbean identity. Including a previously unseen first draft of _Beyond a Boundary_'s conclusion alongside contributions from James's key collaborator Selma James and Michael Brearley, former captain of the English Test cricket team, _Marxism, Colonialism, and Cricket_ provides a thorough and nuanced examination of James's groundbreaking work and its lasting impact. Contributors. Anima Adjepong, David Austin, Hilary McD. Beckles, Michael Brearley, Selwyn R. Cudjoe, David Featherstone, Christopher Gair, Paget Henry, Christian Høgsbjerg, C. L. R. James, Selma James, Roy McCree, Minkah Makalani, Clem Seecharan, AndrewSmith, Neil Washbourne, Claire Westall. (shrink)
I here argue against the viability of Peter Ludlow’s modified version of Paul Boghossian’s argument for the incompatibility of semantic externalism and authoritative self-knowledge. Ludlow contends that slow switching is not merely actual but is, moreover, prevalent; it can occur whenever we shift between localized linguistic communities. It is therefore quite possible, he maintains, that we undergo unwitting shifts in our mental content on a regular basis. However, there is good reason to accept as plausible that despite their prevalence (...) we are in fact able to readily adapt to such switches, as well as to the shifts in mental content that accompany them. The prevalence of slow switching between linguistic communities does not then necessarily entail incompatibility after all. (shrink)
This volume brings together mostly previously unpublished studies by prominent historians, classicists, and philosophers on the roles and effects of religion in Socratic philosophy and on the trial of Socrates. Among the contributors are Thomas C. Brickhouse, Asli Gocer, Richard Kraut, Mark L. McPherran, Robert C. T. Parker, C. D. C. Reeve, Nicholas D. Smith, Gregory Vlastos, Stephen A. White, and Paul B. Woodruff.
An interpretation of the work of Schleiermacher and Otto recently offered by Andrew Dole, according to which these two thinkers differed over the extent to which religion can be explained naturalistically, and over the sense in which the supernatural can be admitted, is examined and refuted. It is argued that there is no difference between the two thinkers on this issue. It is shown that Schleiermacher's claim that a supernatural event is at the same time a natural event does (...) not invite, but rather forecloses the possibility of, a naturalistic explanation of the event. It is further demonstrated that Otto, like Schleiermacher, denied the existence of supernatural events interpreted as events that infringe the laws of nature. (shrink)
Refrigeration has become so well established over the last 125 years that today a crude ice maker becomes a boon for primitive people in the jungle or desert. Only a total dislocation in energy sources will quickly loosen the connections between people and cooling. A few centuries ago, Hippocrates observed: ‘most men would rather run the hazards of their lives or health than be deprived of the pleasure of drinking out of ice’ … In the U.S.A. [today], 750 million frozen (...) Eskimo Pies are sold annually and seven ice cream plants are said to be operating in Moscow … Like the men of Hippocrates, a lot of people will resist any curtailment in food and freezing operations. They have come to expect these for survival in our present social and industrial orders.These remarks, asserting the extent to which the people of the United States of America regarded refrigeration not as an optional luxury but as a necessity for survival even at the height of the energy crisis of the late 1970s, formed part of a contribution to a massive 11-volume international compendium, Alternative Energy Sources, produced in 1978 in response to Western concerns about rising oil prices and falling reserves. An enthusiastic advocate for geothermal energy, the contributor's perception provides a vivid contextual starting point for our study of Paul Theroux's novel The Mosquito Coast . In this novel the central narrative focuses upon a New England family's rejection of post-war American consumer society with its imperative to ‘build automobiles that would fail within five years and refrigerators that would fail in ten’. The novel indeed explores some of those very kinds of alternative energy sources which had been exciting scientists and inventors since the early 1970s when journals such as The Ecologist had begun to prophesy an end to energy-driven economic growth in the western world. (shrink)
A collaborative article by the Editorial Collective of Social Imaginaries. Investigations into social imaginaries have burgeoned in recent years. From ‘the capitalist imaginary’ to the ‘democratic imaginary’, from the ‘ecological imaginary’ to ‘the global imaginary’ – and beyond – the social imaginaries field has expanded across disciplines and beyond the academy. The recent debates on social imaginaries and potential new imaginaries reveal a recognisable field and paradigm-in-the-making. We argue that Castoriadis, Ricoeur, and Taylor have articulated the most important theoretical frameworks (...) for understanding social imaginaries, although the field as a whole remains heterogeneous. We further argue that the notion of social imaginaries draws on the modern understanding of the imagination as authentically creative. We contend that an elaboration of social imaginaries involves a significant, qualitative shift in the understanding of societies as collectively and politically-instituted formations that are irreducible to inter-subjectivity or systemic logics. After marking out the contours of the field and recounting a philosophical history of the imagination, the essay turns to debates on social imaginaries in more concrete contexts, specifically political-economic imaginaries, the ecological imaginary, multiple modernities and their inter-civilisational encounters. The social imaginaries field imparts powerful messages for the human sciences and wider publics. In particular, social imaginaries hold significant implications for ontological, phenomenological and philosophical anthropological questions; for the cultural, social, and political horizons of contemporary worlds; and for ecological and economic phenomena. The essay concludes with the argument that social imaginaries as a paradigm-in-the-making offers valuable means by which movements towards social change can be elucidated as well providing an open horizon for the critiques of existing social practices. (shrink)
This article probes some of the issues The Great War and Modern Memory raises today, whether by Fussell himself, by critics at the time of its original publication, or by rereading the book anew now, in the context of a veritable renaissance in the study of World War I and of the revolution effected by the "literary turn" in historical study. I situate Fussell's book against the backdrop of three foundational works or points of view in cultural history that came (...) to the forefront after 1975. My purpose is not to chide Fussell for failing to anticipate the future directions of the cultural history of war, but rather to show how his work fits into the development of that history.I argue that The Great War and Modern Memory itself became a lieu de mémoire or "site of memory" of the Great War. But like many very successful works, Fussell's book became famous not exclusively or even primarily because of its originality, but because of its ability to reformulate or reinscribe pre-existing ways of understanding. As critic and as veteran, Fussell reasserted the "evidence of experience" as the cornerstone of war writing in the twentieth century. In addition, some of the impact of The Great War and Modern Memory can be explained by the way it supported the most venerable narrative explanation of the Great War, that of tragedy. (shrink)