Hallucinatory states are experienced not only in connection with drugs and psychopathologies but occur naturally and spontaneously across the human circadian cycle: Our nightly dreams bring multimodal experiences in the absence of adequate external stimuli. The current study proposes a new, tighter measure of these hallucinatory states: Sleep onset, REM sleep, and non-REM sleep are shown to differ with regard to motor imagery indicating interactions with a rich imaginative world, and cognitive agency that could enable sleepers to recognize their hallucinatory (...) state. Mentation reports from the different states were analysed quantitatively with regard to two grammatical–semantic constructs, motor agency and cognitive agency. The present results support earlier physiological and psychological evidence in revealing a decline in cognitive functions and an increase in simulated interactions with a hallucinatory world, en route to normal REM sleep. This leads us to introduce the hypothesis that REM sleep, which exhibits remarkably high levels of sensorimotor processes, may have evolved to serve as a virtual laboratory for the development and rehearsal of embodied cognition. The new measure of hallucinatory states presented here may also hold implications for the study of executive functions and cognitions, which might be interesting, for example, for the investigation of lucid dreaming. (shrink)
We present Activity Analysis as a new method for the quantification of subjective reports of altered states of consciousness with regard to the indicated level of simulated motor activity. Empirical linguistic activity analysis was conducted with dream reports conceived immediately after EEG-controlled periods of hypnagogic hallucinations and REM-sleep in the sleep laboratory. Reports of REM-dreams exhibited a significantly higher level of simulated physical dreamer activity, while hypnagogic hallucinations appear to be experienced mostly from the point of passive observer. This study (...) lays the groundwork for clinical research on the level of simulated activity in pathologically altered states of subjective experience, for example in the REM-dreams of clinically depressed patients, or in intrusions and dreams of patients diagnosed with PTSD. (shrink)
Institutional theory rests on a rejection of reductionism. Instead of reducing higher-order phenomena to aggregates of behavior, institutional theory reverses this causal imagery. It attributes the behavior of organizations and nation-states to contextual factors, notably organizational fields, national institutional systems, or the emerging global polity, Institutionalists, particularly within sociology, also emphasize specifically cultural mechanisms for these higher-order effects. This article develops the methodological foundations for these claims. It surveys and elaborates research designs for documenting higher-order effects and for differentiating the (...) cultural mechanisms of institutional influence. It also presents new strategies for assessing multiple logics and the coherence of institutional orders, moving beyond adoption and diffusion studies to analyze the dynamic and contested processes of institutionalization and institutional change. (shrink)
We present one of the first quantitative studies on auditory verbal experiences and auditory verbal agency voices or characters”) in healthy participants across states of consciousness. Tools of quantitative linguistic analysis were used to measure participants’ implicit knowledge of auditory verbal experiences and auditory verbal agencies, displayed in mentation reports from four different states. Analysis was conducted on a total of 569 mentation reports from rapid eye movement sleep, non-REM sleep, sleep onset, and waking. Physiology was controlled with the nightcap (...) sleep–wake mentation monitoring system. Sleep-onset hallucinations, traditionally at the focus of scientific attention on auditory verbal hallucinations, showed the lowest degree of VE and VA, whereas REM sleep showed the highest degrees. Degrees of different linguistic-pragmatic aspects of VE and VA likewise depend on the physiological states. The quantity and pragmatics of VE and VA are a function of the physiologically distinct state of consciousness in which they are conceived. (shrink)
In this article, I discuss how things go with the "Nothing" in the work of Alain Badiou, a topic which is evidently central to his thought, and which has received a great deal of attention in the commentary to date. As this problem is inaccessible outside of Badiou’s deployment of mathematics, I will suggest how accounts of Badiou’s work remain flawed insofar as they evade his mathematical demonstrations, and I attempt to clarify how mathematics operates in his system. I then (...) examine the consequences that such a use of mathematics has for Badiou’s doctrine of the nothing. I conclude with a discussion of some of the difficulties that the nothing continues to pose to Badiou, which have not (yet) been satisfactorily resolved. These difficulties devolve from the problematic of the incessantly doubling void. (shrink)
We consider the complexity of the isomorphism relation on countable first-order structures with transitive automorphism groups. We use the theory of Borel reducibility of equivalence relations to show that the isomorphism problem for vertex-transitive graphs is as complicated as the isomorphism problem for arbitrary graphs and determine for which first-order languages the isomorphism problem for transitive countable structures is as complicated as it is for arbitrary countable structures. We then use these results to characterize the complexity of the isometry relation (...) for certain classes of homogeneous and ultrahomogeneous metric spaces. (shrink)
Following the publication of his magnum opus L’être et l’événement (Being and Event) in 1988, Alain Badiou has been acclaimed as one of France’s greatest living philosophers. Since then, he has released a dozen books, including Manifesto for Philosophy, Conditions, Metapolitics and Logiques des mondes (Logics of Worlds), many of which are now available in English translation. Badiou writes on an extraordinary array of topics, and his work has already had an impact upon studies in the history of philosophy, the (...) history and philosophy of science, political philosophy, aesthetics, psychoanalysis, and ontology. This volume takes up the challenge of explicating, extending and, in many places, criticising Badiou’s stunningly original theses. Above all, the essays collected here put Badiou’s concepts to the test in a confrontation with the four great headings that he himself has identified as essential to our humanity: science, love, art and politics. Many of the contributors have already been recognised as outstanding translators of and commentators on Badiou’s work; they appear here with fresh voices also destined to make a mark. (shrink)
The Heideggerian rupture in the history of philosophy in the name of a phenomenological and poetic ontology has provided an opening which many of the key figures in twentieth century continental thought have exploited. However, this opening was marked by Heidegger himself as an ambiguous one, insofar as metaphysics was perhaps integrally ‘onto-theology,’ that is, ultimately continuous with the world-historical capture of the thought of being. This piece argues that the philosophy of Alain Badiou, which departs from the recognition that (...) Heidegger is the ‘last universally recognised philosopher’, provides the means for a radical reconsideration of the philosophy-theology relationship in its specifically Heideggerian form, involving as it does further questions of science and technology, the status of the poem, and the nature of ontological thought as such. We argue that, through the deployment of mathematics as ontology, the Gordian knot of onto-theology and its legion of consequences can be cut, and a new assemblage of many of the key Heideggerian motifs can be put into play: the poem, history, and philosophy itself. (shrink)
In Logiques des Mondes, Paris, Seuil, 2006, Alain Badiou has produced a sequel to his magnum opus Being and Event. Whereas Being and Event primarily restricted itself to the relationship between ontology and the event, mathematics and poetry, the new book seriously extends and revises certain of its predecessor's. This article outlines some of the major doctrines, arguments, and motivations for the new work, as well as several points of possible difficulty.
Alain Badiou is one of the world's most influential living philosophers. Few contemporary thinkers display his breadth of argument and reference, or his ability to intervene in debates critical to both analytic and continental philosophy. Alain Badiou: Key Concepts presents an overview of and introduction to the full range of Badiou's thinking. Essays focus on the foundations of Badiou's thought, his "key concepts" - truth, being, ontology, the subject, and conditions - and on his engagement with a range of thinkers (...) central to his philosophy, including Plato, Descartes, Spinoza, Heidegger and Deleuze. (shrink)
As a philologist, Nietzsche had to be a materialist – a materialist of letters. If letters are not life, however, they are the indices of its limits. You can’t live except at the limit; to get to a limit, you have to reconstruct a genealogy for yourself; once you know where you are, you have the opportunity to lose yourself again, this time effectively. Life is whatever will have greeted you in that loss, the disappearance at the limit.
We consider the classification problem for several classes of countable structures which are “vertex-transitive”, meaning that the automorphism group acts transitively on the elements. We show that the classification of countable vertex-transitive digraphs and partial orders are Borel complete. We identify the complexity of the classification of countable vertex-transitive linear orders. Finally we show that the classification of vertex-transitive countable tournaments is properly above \ in complexity.
Since the 1970s, historical sociology in the United States has been constituted by a configuration of substantive questions, a theoretical vocabulary anchored in concepts of economic interest and rationalization, and a methodological commitment to comparison. More recently, this configuration has been destabilized along each dimension: the increasing autonomy of comparative-historical methods from specific historical puzzles, the shift from the analysis of covariation to theories of historical process, and new substantive questions through which new kinds of arguments have been elaborated. Although (...) the dominant responses have centered on methodological elaboration and epistemological debate, greater attention to historical process also informs new strategies for defining cases and framing puzzles, thereby highlighting different categories of empirical questions: social caging, group formation, and multiple orders. The most striking shift is from the imagery of systems-and-crises, which highlighted revolution and state-building, to multidimensional understandings of emergence and destabilization. (shrink)
“Almost in the same historical moment when Galileo directed all modern physics to the reading of that book which Nature was supposed to have written herself in geometric or, subsequently, algebraic signs, the modern novel and modern theatre stepped in as evidence that modern readers and spectators enjoy the effects of those fictions most of all when they are altogether free of science.” Friedrich Kittler, “Man as a drunken town musician”.
Many American progressives consider themselves both liberals and environmentalists, and, though the organisations representing these two causes should be working together, they rarely do. Moreover, the emerging split over the role of economic growth could push liberal and environmentalist leaders further apart. This lecture discusses how to bridge the gap between liberals and environmentalists by fusing progressive causes into a common agenda. The two causes are not, as many believe, mutually exclusive, but are instead mutually supportive: liberals need environmentalists to (...) succeed and environmentalists need liberals to succeed. (shrink)
We define the notion of a weakly pointed tree, and characterize the amount of genericity necessary to prevent a uniformly branching tree being weakly pointed. We use these ideas to show there is no topological analogue of a measure-theoretic selection theorem of Graf and Mauldin.