L'article compare le motif de la contemplation de sa propre image dans une surface réfléchissante chez Plotin avec des motifs semblables que l'on trouvenon seulement dans les récits mythologiques, mais aussi dans les doctrines cosmologiques des systèmes philosophiques, gnostiques surtout, qui sont à la fois proches de Plotin et concurrent, à l'égard de la philosophie plotinienne. En même temps, en analysant deux métaphores mythologiques, dont une se sert du motif de la réflexion dans le miroir (le mythe orphique du démembrement (...) de Dionysos) et l'autre de la réflexion dans l'eau (le mythe de Narcisse), l'article souligne les différences qui séparent la doctrine plotinienne de la descente de l'âme et celle de la chute de l'âme. (shrink)
We present a conceptual analysis of the notions of actual physical property and potential physical property as used by theoretical physicists/mathematicians working in the domain of operational quantum logic. We investigate how these notions are being used today and what role they play in the specified field of research. In order to do so, we will give a brief introduction to this area of research and explain it as a part of the discipline known as “mathematical metascience”. An in depth (...) analysis of Aristotle’s use of the notions of “actuality” and “potentiality” is presented in order to point out exactly how much of the Aristotelian connotations are embedded in the contemporary use of the concepts under investigation. Although we will not focus in depth on all the drawbacks in the early historical development of physics due to the overwhelming influence of Aristotle’s writings, our analysis does touch upon some aspects of the Aristotelian theory of movement that are often overthrown nowadays. (shrink)
This article focuses on a part of the “nuclear condition” that is often overlooked in philosophical discussions: that of materiality. Connecting the spheres of nuclear weapons, and of nuclear power generation, are the materials that bombs and electricity can be made of, and the machines that produce either enriched uranium or plutonium. We now have evidence of just how fragile the machines and devices were that sustained the nuclear age, but also how tenuous and artificial the boundary is that we (...) assume between “peaceful” and “military” purposes. And yet, each new “nuclear deal” affirms this boundary, and the possibility of its existence. While the community of scholars and policymakers who prioritize nuclear security strive to label as many steps of the process as “special,” and therefore subject to inspection, accounting, and international control, multinational power companies and national nuclear industries promote “technical fixes” for lingering safety concerns, and advance the opposite strategy: to “normalize” many processes to the point of including severe accident response into the industry’s business-as-usual. The article argues that different kinds of “nuclearities” have increasingly become accepted as “normal”: on one hand, international diplomacy that foregrounds legal and regulatory strategies to nip potential nuclear weapons programs in the bud, and on the other, national nuclear power programs growing their fleets and attempting to expand their market reach. By accepting the divide between the “security community” and the “safety community” as the new “nuclear normalcy,” the shared nuclear materiality threatens to slip out of view, or at the very least, out of focus. (shrink)
In a wide-ranging study of unusual interest, Paul Weiss, Sterling Professor of Philosophy at Yale University, applies the principles and methods of philosophy to athletics. Every culture, he notes, has games of some kind; few activities seem to interest both children and young men as much as sports do; and few attract so many spectators, rich and poor. Yet none of the great philosophers, claiming to take all knowledge and being as their province, have made more than a passing (...) reference to sport, in part, Professor Weiss suggests, because they thought that what pleased the vulgar was not worth sustained study by the leisured. This seminal book breaks new ground and explores new paths: psychological and sociological forms of human behavior exhibited in games; the physiology of athletics, and the efforts of training and conditioning; and the motivation of athletics—the rhythm and aims of contests and games, and the meaning of team play. More importantly, however, Professor Weiss’s unique contributions lie in his discussions of the distinct contributions that sport makes to civilization. Professor Weiss discusses at length such topics as the Olympic Games and men and women as amateur and professional athletes—and their sacrifices, defeats, and humiliations. And he delineates the stages the athlete must go through in his progress toward self-completion. (shrink)
My aim in this paper is to show that William Ockham succeeds in accounting for a particular kind of self-knowledge, although in doing so he restricts the direct cognitive access to mental acts and states as they occur, in a way similar to the restriction in contemporary debates on self-knowledge. In particular, a considerable number of Ockham-scholars have argued that Ockham’s theory of mental content bears a substantial likeness to contemporary ‘externalist’ approaches, and I will argue for the success of (...) this theory in three steps: first, I show that, although the form of what is judged implies the ascription of an act to oneself, through ‘intuition’ it suffices to directly cognize the act but not the subject. In Ockham’s conception, intuition is a specific kind of singular cognition. In the second step I show that, according to Ockham’s thesis of mental language, Person is an aspect of mental verbs and not of acts of intuition. Lastly I argue that the correctness of first-person judgments about one’s acts is guaranteed by an ontological fact, and not an epistemological fact. It becomes apparent that this reading is compatible with an epistemological externalism. (shrink)
Research within the operational approach to the logical foundations of physics has recently pointed out a new perspective in which quantum logic can be viewed as an intuitionistic logic with an additional operator to capture its essential, i.e., non-distributive, properties. In this paper we will offer an introduction to this approach. We will focus further on why quantum logic has an inherent dynamic nature which is captured in the meaning of "orthomodularity" and on how it motivates physically the introduction of (...) dynamic implication operators, each for which a deduction theorem holds with respect to a dynamic conjunction. As such we can offer a positive answer to the many who pondered about whether quantum logic should really be called a logic. Doubts to answer the question positively were in first instance due to the former lack of an implication connective which satisfies the deduction theorem within quantum logic. (shrink)
In Telling Flesh, Vicki Kirby addresses a major theoretical issue at the intersection of the social sciences and feminist theory -- the separation of nature from culture. Kirby focuses particularly on postmodern approaches to corporeality, and explores how these approaches confine the body within questions about meaning and interpretation. Kirby explores the implications of this containment in the work of Jane Gallop, Judith Butler, and Drucilla Cornell, as well as in recent cyber-criticism. By analysing the inadvertent repetition of the nature/culture (...) division in this work, Kirby offers a powerful reassessment of dualism itself. (shrink)
Over evolutionary time, humans have developed a selective sensitivity to features in the human face that convey information on sex, age, emotions, and intentions. This ability might not only be applied to our conspecifics nowadays, but also to other living objects (i.e., animals) and even to artificial structures, such as cars. To investigate this possibility, we asked people to report the characteristics, emotions, personality traits, and attitudes they attribute to car fronts, and we used geometric morphometrics (GM) and multivariate statistical (...) methods to determine and visualize the corresponding shape information. Automotive features and proportions are found to covary with trait perception in a manner similar to that found with human faces. Emerging analogies are discussed. This study should have implications for both our understanding of our prehistoric psyche and its interrelation with the modern world. (shrink)
If social, political, and material transformation is to have a lasting impact on individuals and society, it must be integrated within ordinary experience. Refiguring the Ordinary examines the ways in which individuals' bodies, habits, environments, and abilities function as horizons that underpin their understandings of the ordinary. These features of experience, according to Gail Weiss, are never neutral, but are always affected by gender, race, social class, ethnicity, nationality, and perceptions of bodily normality. While no two people will experience (...) the ordinary in exactly the same way, the multiplicities, possibilities, overlaps, and limitations of day-to-day horizons are always intersubjectively constituted. Weiss turns her attention to changing the conditions and experiences of oppression from ordinary to extraordinary. This book is an impressive phenomenological, feminist reading of the complexities of human experience.M. V. Marder, University of Toronto, Feb. 2009. (shrink)
The article discusses the relation between the concepts of unfair trade, exploitation, and below-subsistence wages with regard to individual economic transactions. Starting from the common notion that exploitation involves some kind of unfair advantage taking, it asks how “unfair” is to be understood, and what it is that is taken advantage of in exploitative exchanges. On this basis it then explores a line of argument for grounding the claim that below-subsistence wages are exploitative, focusing on the condition of morally transformative (...) voluntary consent to transactions. By analyzing the structure of coercion with regard to threats, offers, and circumstances it comes to the conclusion that consent to an offer is morally non-transformative with regard to legitimizing the outcome of a transaction if the person giving the “consent” has only unacceptable options in absolute terms to choose from, since this reduces “consent” to a mere act of rationality devoid of any normative content. Accordingly, it argues that insofar as below-subsistence wages are unacceptable options in absolute terms, they are to be considered exploitative and an instance of unfair trade. (shrink)
This paper considers what are the appropriate limits of parental or guardian proxy consent for a child's participation in medical or social science research. Such proxy consent, it is proposed, is invalid in regards “non-therapeutic research.” The latter research may add to scientific knowledge and/or benefit others, but any benefit to the child research participant is but a coincidental theoretical possibility and not a primary objective. Research involving children, without intended and acceptable prospect of beneficial outcome to the individual participant, (...) even if with negligible risk, does not meet the test for “best interests.” Proxy consent for children's involvement in research is justifiable only when given for and on behalf of the child in his or her best interest to enhance the child's well-being. Only in the latter case is the parental proxy consent situation analogous in regards key criteria to a competent individual consenting to research participation. (shrink)
Externalist readings of Ockham are currently most prominent in the literature. For instance, an externalist interpretation with respect both to mental content and the meaning of expressions is advocated by prominent scholars. In this paper, I want to argue that although this externalist picture is certainly not incorrect, it is nonetheless incomplete. As I show, Ockham distinguishes between two ways of acquiring concepts: one of them can be accounted for in wholly externalist terms while the other involves the understanding of (...) linguistic expressions. According to the reading of Ockham I suggest here, it turns out that we can have two kinds of concepts pertaining to the same kind of things. But only one of the two is completely determined by external relations. Thus I conclude that the externalist picture of Ockham calls for some additions. (shrink)
In The Socratic Paradox and Its Enemies, Roslyn Weiss argues that the Socratic paradoxes—no one does wrong willingly, virtue is knowledge, and all the virtues are one—are best understood as Socrates’ way of combating sophistic views: ...
This essay argues that Merleau-Ponty’s phenomenology of embodiment can be an extremely helpful ally for contemporary feminist theorists, critical race theorists, and disability studies scholars because his work suggests that the gender, race, and ability of bodies are not innate or fixed features of those bodies, much less corporeal indicators of physical, social, psychic, and even moral inferiority, but are themselves dynamic phenomena that have the potential to overturn accepted notions of normalcy, naturalness, and normativity. Taking seriously Merleau-Ponty’s insistence that (...) our bodies are the means by which we directly engage with the world, I suggest, encourages us to be attentive to how an individual’s or group’s gender, race, and bodily abilities differentially affect how their bodies are responded to by other bodies. The responses of others, in turn, directly influences the significance of an individual’s actions within that situation. This essay provides a critical examination of specific feminist philosophers, critical race scholars, and disability theorists who creatively utilize Merleau-Pontian insights to illustrate, and ultimately combat, the insidious ways in which sexism, racism, and “compulsory able-bodiedness”, impoverish the lived experience of both oppressors and the oppressed, largely by predetermining the meaning of their bodily interactions in accordance with institutionalized cultural expectations and norms. (shrink)
Although anger as a negative emotion is associated with unpleasantness, recent research on anger highlights its motivational effect. The present study tested whether individuals experience both, an unpleasant and an activating affect, after real-life provocations. Results revealed that an anger situation evoked not only typical subjective and cardiovascular anger reactions but also a sense of strength, which is a positive affect. A comparison of participants with low versus high anger disposition according to the STAXI-2 at baseline, treatment, and recovery showed (...) that participants with high trait anger consistently scored higher in subjective ratings of feeling strong than their counterparts did. Moreover, we found a larger and longer lasting effect of feeling strong than feeling angry after an anger treatment. Thus, differences in anger disposition influence the positive correlation between trait anger and positive affect. (shrink)
In the literature the work of C. Piron on OQL, “the operational quantum logic of the Geneva School”, has a few times been criticised. Those criticisms were often due to misunderstandings, as has already been pointed out in . In this paper we follow the line of defense in favour of OQL by replying to the criticisms formulated some time ago in  and . In order for the reader to follow our argumentation, we briefly analyze the basic conceptual machinery (...) of OQL. (shrink)
We analyze G.M. Hardegree's interpretation of the Sasaki hook as a Stalnaker conditional and explain how he makes use of the basic conceptual machinery of OQL, i.e. the operational quantum logic which originated with the Geneva Approach to the foundations of physics. In particular we focus on measurements which are ideal and of the first kind, since these encode the content of the so-called Sasaki projections within the Geneva Approach. The Sasaki projections play a fundamental role when analyzing the condition (...) under which the properties expressed by Sasaki hooks can be considered as actual. We finish with a note on how the Sasaki hook can be conceived as ``assigning causes for properties to be actual", which links the interpretation of G.M. Hardegree to what has been called ``dynamic OQL". (shrink)
In Socrates Dissatisfied, Weiss argues against the prevailing view that the personified Laws in the latter part of the Crito are Socrates' spokesmen. She reveals and explores many indications that Socrates and the Laws are, both in style and in substance, adversaries. Deft, provocative, and compelling, with new translations providing groundbreaking interpretations of key passages, Socrates Dissatisfied challenges the standard conception of the history of political thought.
I present a reconstruction of the logical system of the Tractatus, which differs from classical logic in two ways. It includes an account of Wittgenstein’s “form-series” device, which suffices to express some effectively generated countably infinite disjunctions. And its attendant notion of structure is relativized to the fixed underlying universe of what is named. -/- There follow three results. First, the class of concepts definable in the system is closed under finitary induction. Second, if the universe of objects is countably (...) infinite, then the property of being a tautology is \Pi^1_1-complete. But third, it is only granted the assumption of countability that the class of tautologies is \Sigma_1-definable in set theory. -/- Wittgenstein famously urges that logical relationships must show themselves in the structure of signs. He also urges that the size of the universe cannot be prejudged. The results of this paper indicate that there is no single way in which logical relationships could be held to make themselves manifest in signs, which does not prejudge the number of objects. (shrink)
Language’s intentional nature has been highlighted as a crucial feature distinguishing it from other communication systems. Specifically, language is often thought to depend on highly structured intentional action and mutual mindreading by a communicator and recipient. Whilst similar abilities in animals can shed light on the evolution of intentionality, they remain challenging to detect unambiguously. We revisit animal intentional communication and suggest that progress in identifying analogous capacities has been complicated by (i) the assumption that intentional (that is, voluntary) production (...) of communicative acts requires mental-state attribution, and (ii) variation in approaches investigating communication across sensory modalities. To move forward, we argue that a framework fusing research across modalities and species is required. We structure intentional communication into a series of requirements, each of which can be operationalised, investigated empirically, and must be met for purposive, intentionally communicative acts to be demonstrated. Our unified approach helps elucidate the distribution of animal intentional communication and subsequently serves to clarify what is meant by attributions of intentional communication in animals and humans. (shrink)
While questions about the environmental sustainability of contemporary farming practices and the socioeconomic viability of rural communities are attracting increasing attention throughout the US, these two issues are rarely considered together. This paper explores the current and potential connections between these two aspects of sustainability, using data on community members’ and farmers’ views of agricultural issues in California’s Central Valley. These views were collected from a series of individual and group interviews with biologically oriented and conventional farmers as well as (...) community stakeholders. Local marketing, farmland preservation, and perceptions of sustainable agriculture comprised the primary topics of discussion. The mixed results indicate that, while many farmers and community members have a strong interest in these topics, sustainable community development and the use of sustainable farming practices are seldom explicitly linked. On the other hand, many separate efforts around the Valley to increase local marketing and agritourism, improve public education about agriculture, and organize grassroots farmland preservation initiatives were documented. We conclude that linking these efforts more explicitly to sustainable agriculture and promoting more engagement between ecologically oriented farmers and their communities could engender more economic and political support for these farmers, helping them and their communities to achieve greater sustainability in the long run. (shrink)
One of very few monographs devoted to Plato's Meno, this study emphasizes the interplay between its protagonists, Socrates and Meno. It interprets the Meno as Socrates' attempt to persuade his interlocutor, by every device at his disposal, of the value of moral inquiry—even though it fails to yield full-blown knowledge—and to encourage him to engage in such inquiry, insofar as it alone makes human life worth living.
We formalise a notion of dynamic rationality in terms of a logic of conditional beliefs on (doxastic) plausibility models. Similarly to other epistemic statements (e.g. negations of Moore sentences and of Muddy Children announcements), dynamic rationality changes its meaning after every act of learning, and it may become true after players learn it is false. Applying this to extensive games, we “simulate” the play of a game as a succession of dynamic updates of the original plausibility model: the epistemic situation (...) when a given node is reached can be thought of as the result of a joint act of learning (via public announcements) that the node is reached. We then use the notion of “stable belief”, i.e. belief that is preserved during the play of the game, in order to give an epistemic condition for backward induction: rationality and common knowledge of stable belief in rationality. This condition is weaker than Aumann’s and compatible with the implicit assumptions (the “epistemic openness of the future”) underlying Stalnaker’s criticism of Aumann’s proof. The “dynamic” nature of our concept of rationality explains why our condition avoids the apparent circularity of the “backward induction paradox”: it is consistent to (continue to) believe in a player’s rationality after updating with his irrationality. (shrink)
We investigate the discrete (finite) case of the Popper–Renyi theory of conditional probability, introducing discrete conditional probabilistic models for knowledge and conditional belief, and comparing them with the more standard plausibility models. We also consider a related notion, that of safe belief, which is a weak (non-negatively introspective) type of “knowledge”. We develop a probabilistic version of this concept (“degree of safety”) and we analyze its role in games. We completely axiomatize the logic of conditional belief, knowledge and safe belief (...) over conditional probabilistic models. We develop a theory of probabilistic dynamic belief revision, introducing probabilistic “action models” and proposing a notion of probabilistic update product, that comes together with appropriate reduction laws. (shrink)
We address the old question whether a logical understanding of Quantum Mechanics requires abandoning some of the principles of classical logic. Against Putnam and others (Among whom we may count or not E. W. Beth, depending on how we interpret some of his statements), our answer is a clear "no". Philosophically, our argument is based on combining a formal semantic approach, in the spirit of E. W. Beth's proposal of applying Tarski's semantical methods to the analysis of physical theories, with (...) an empirical-experimental approach to Logic, as advocated by both Beth and Putnam, but understood by us in the view of the operationalrealistic tradition of Jauch and Piron, i. e. as an investigation of "the logic of yes-no experiments" (or "questions"). Technically, we use the recently-developed setting of Quantum Dynamic Logic (Baltag and Smets 2005, 2008) to make explicit the operational meaning of quantum-mechanical concepts in our formal semantics. Based on our recent results (Baltag and Smets 2005), we show that the correct interpretation of quantum-logical connectives is dynamical, rather than purely propositional. We conclude that there is no contradiction between classical logic and (our dynamic reinterpretation of) quantum logic. Moreover, we argue that the Dynamic-Logical perspective leads to a better and deeper understanding of the "non-classicality" of quantum behavior than any perspective based on static Propositional Logic. (shrink)
Despite a paucity of psychological research exploring the interface between lesbian and gay issues and human rights, a human rights framework has been widely adopted in debates to gain equality for lesbians and gay men. Given this prominence within political discourse of human rights as a framework for the promotion of positive social change for lesbians and gay men, the aim of this study was to explore the extent to which rights?based arguments are employed when talking about lesbian and gay (...) issues in a social context. An analysis of six focus group discussions with students showed that when lesbian and gay issues are discussed, rights?based reasoning is employed intermittently, and in relation to certain issues more so than others. The implications of these findings for moral education aimed at promoting positive social change for lesbians and gay men are discussed. (shrink)
« The form within which contractions can move ». The case for a reconstruction of the materialist theory of law The article begins with an appraisal of the legacy of Marxist legal theory in the last century as the starting-point from which to update the various attempts to grasp the connection between the capitalist mode of production and modern law. By way of a critical inquiry of its merits and failures, the article tries to re-construct the findings of Marxist legal (...) theory and thus propose an updated version of a materialist legal theory. The main argument is that law in capitalist societies takes the form of a technology of cohesion which possesses its own logic of self reproduction. Law’s ´relational autonomy` is both an effect of its autonomisation from social relations, behind the back of its producers, and the main condition for a deferral of power. Under the structural conditions of the legal form, juridical intellectuals organise hegemony via the infrastructure of a seemingly neutral legal argumentation. (shrink)
Literature on the subject of the menopause, primarily from the past three decades, is selectively reviewed in the form of an annotated bibliography. In order to highlight particular methodological problems, the review is presented in three sections, each preceded by a brief discussion, as follows: the general report of clinical observation or experience, the survey, and the clinical trial. Several recommendations are also made for further research in this field.