MORALITY AS A SOURCE OF (BANAL) EVIL. HANNAH ARENDT READS KANT The experience of totalitarianism made Arendt notice how problematic the common understanding of morality is. If we identify it with the obedience to the rules governing human relationships it can happen that when those rules become questionable we are no longer able to distinguish right from wrong. But totalitarian leaders not only rejected the existing rules; they replaced them with the ones that prescribed evil things. Arendt thinks that the (...) real moral problem is with those "ordinary" people who adapted to the new situation. Both the ease of their conversion and the example of those who were able to resist it, led her to conclude that “morality of rules” might be detrimental to the activities that can make us refrain from doing evil. Analyzing these activities, which are thinking and judging, Arendt often refers to Kant’s philosophy. I want to demonstrate the fruitfulness of this interpretation, and its importance to moral and political thought of Arendt herself. The presentation of these topics is supposed to deepen the reflection on the problem of "banal" evil. (shrink)
Various notions of independence of observables have been proposed within the algebraic framework of quantum field theory. We discuss relationships between these and the recently introduced notion of logical independence in a general operator-algebraic context. We show that C*-independence implies an analogue of classical independence.
Author: Szutta Artur Title: WŁADYSŁAW TATARKIEWICZ’S CONCEPT OF THE ‘THIRD STATES’ (Stany trzecie w ujęciu Władysława Tatarkiewicza) Source: Filo-Sofija year: 2011, vol:.13/14, number: 2011/2-3, pages: 617-627 Keywords: “THIRD STATES”, LEISURE, PHILOSOPHY, THEORY, INTELLECT, SENSE OF LIFE, WŁADYSŁAW TATARKIEWICZ, JOSEPH PIEPER Discipline: PHILOSOPHY Language: POLISH Document type: ARTICLE Publication order reference (Primary author’s office address): E-mail: www:The article treats on the concept of “third states” (as opposed to the other two kinds of states: those of work and entertainment) introduced by Władysław (...) Tatarkiewicz in his treatise On Happiness. A thorough analysis of the passage on “third states” as well as of the very concept allows to see its relevance to the considerations on such important philosophical questions as those of the nature of doing philosophy, the meaning of life, intellectual intuition, theoria or contemplation. The paper consists of five parts. The first part is focused on Tatarkiewicz’s understanding of “third states” as well as on a phenomenological analysis of the concept itself. The second part is a kind of extension of the analysis enriched by Josef Pieper’s interpretation of the idea of leisure which I find very close to what Tatarkiewicz means by “third states”. In the light of the analysis the concept of the ‘third states’ turns out to be very inspiring and useful in dealing with a number of philosophical questions, which is shown in the fourth part of the paper. The final step consists of questioning the above conclusion by short outlining a possible naturalistic interpretation of the ‘third states’ in the light of which the picture of philosophy, human life or human cognition, based on the concept of the ‘third states’ might turn out to be a mere illusion. I do not give a final answer to this question but treat the conclusion of the paper as an invitation to a deeper consideration of the matter. (shrink)
In 1948, Stanis aw Ja kowski defined a logical system D2 of a discursive 1 sentential calculus. The aim of this paper is to introduce the reader to the basic ideas of the discursive logic and to show, in a historical perspective, its development originating from the two germ papers  and . We intend to present some problems connected with it and outline the solutions they have received up to the present day.
ABOUT THE PUTTING NAMES TO OBJECTS, I.E. HOW TADEUSZ KOTARBIjSKI TEACHES UNDERSTAND STANISkAW LE3NIEWSKI’S ONTOLOGY S u m m a r y This article presents an attempt to fund Ontology of Stanis;aw Lemniewski on a simple theory with one primitive relation “being denoted by”. Developed theory shows that to the linguistic model of the Ontology can belong only such general names that in their extensions have at least two objects (references) denoted by individual names.
Summary In the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries the Polish geoscientist, philosopher, and statesman Stanis?aw Staszic (1755?1826) conducted an extensive geological survey of Poland and adjacent areas. In 1815, he completed a book (in Polish), On the geology of the Carpathians and other mountains and lowlands of Poland, complemented by a well-made geological map of Central and Eastern Europe. Early in the nineteenth century, Staszic refined the idea of ?geological mapping?, though initially he was interested in the exploration of (...) mineral deposits, rock salt, copper and iron ores, and coal. Unlike his predecessors, his book adopted a temporal subdivision of rocks, using a somewhat modified version of Abraham Gottlob Werner's system. He delineated the surface distribution of five rock units and coloured them onto his map. His work gave expression to his view of geological history, and brought the ?Enlightenment Period? of geology in Central and Eastern Europe to a close. (shrink)
From the viewpoint of its Stalinist-era creators, the IKKN/INS could at best be described as a mixed success. Despite heroic efforts, it failed to train the cadres that might have permeated Polish scholarship with Marxism-Leninism. If it was the major channel for transmitting Soviet experience to Polish academia, then Poland's universities would not learn to be Soviet—the Polish historian Jerzy Halbersztadt has made the point that the institute was the only direct conduit of Soviet experience into Polish academic life. It (...) even had a major role in educating some of Poland's most famous critical thinkers, although they, unlike their master Adam Schaff, seem less fond of reminiscing about the institute. Leszek Koŀakowski writes that he does not regard his role in the ideological struggles of the early 1950s as a “source of pride”.90The legacy of the IKKN/INS has also been a mixed one. It was not only a “foundry of revisionists”. For every future critical thinker of world repute, it graduated several cadres who served the PZPR loyally over decades. Adam Schaff recognises this dual legacy. Looking back on a long and active life, he has called the institute a “pearl in my crown”.91 Its members filled top party and government posts throughout the history of People's Poland. Andrzej Werblan served as Central Committee secretary and a member of the Politburo, Sylwester Zawadzki became minister of justice, Stanisŀaw Wroński was minister of culture, Mieczysŀaw Jagielski was the Politburo member who negotiated the Gdańsk accords, Stanisŀaw Kania succeeded Edward Gierek, and Mieczysŀaw Rakowski acted as General Jaruzelski's Party First Secretary.92Undoubtedly much of the institute's strange course is to be attributed to the designs of Adam Schaff. Despite his Moscow training, Schaff retained an attachment to the Polish academic milieu which had formed him. He may have believed in Stalinist doctrine, but he also believed that this doctrine would show its superiority in competition with other views—even if the competition was far from a fair one. Of course, Schaff tried to retain ultimate control, and to play, as he now calls himself, the “grey eminence”. Nevertheless, his was a very unstalinist way of propagating Stalinism, and he must be given credit for helping to keep a spirit of intellectual inquiry alive in Poland during the dark years of the early 1950s.Yet Schaff tends to exaggerate his personal role in educating philosophers, dissidents and critical thinkers. This tendency is itself a legacy of the Stalinist period and its concentration of power. Stalinists view the present as their personal creation and therefore reject all criticisms of the past. At the final meeting of the Crooked Circle Club in 1962, Schaff encountered unwonted criticism from, among others, Andrzej Walicki. Schaff shot back at him: “You are ours, you are our creation, a creation of socialism ... we educated you, and we didn't do such a bad job.” But far from being a “creation” of Schaff's, the non-party member Walicki had been denied admission to graduate studies in philosophy. He felt relieved when those in attendance, who knew him better than Schaff did, burst out laughing.93The point is that the Polish intellectual world maintained its integrity outside the IKKN/INS, and in the end it was the institute which merged into the Polish intelligentsia, rather than the opposite. After 1957 the non-Marxist sociologists and philosophers made their way back to academia, and were joined by many former INS staff members. The basic unity of Polish social science training, and of the Polish intelligentsia, was restored.94Of course in a larger sense the fate of the IKKN/INS had little to do with the designs of its master. Schaff admits as much, proclaiming that “I did this because I did not know what I was doing!” If he had been asked to start such a project five years later, the answer would have been: “No!”95 The fatal flaw of the Institute for Training Scientific Cadres was cadres: Poland did not have them. By 1956, Schaff and the party leadership, and perhaps Soviet advisers as well, had learned that one could not create an elite party scientific institution almost out of nothing. It would either be party or scientific, because apparatchiki could not become scientists, scientists would not become apparatchiki, and students could not produce teachers. In the Stalinist period, Polish intellectual life had stood in the shadow of the party; yet during the Thaw the relationship was reversed—increasingly the tiny party training institute was engulfed by the shadow of the resurgent Polish universities. Talented young people, even those in the party, made their way into the traditional higher educational establishment.The IKKN/INS did not, therefore, fail because of its own failings, nor succeed because of its own successes. It was a failed part of a failed whole. To succeed, “mild” revolution would have required decades, and Poland's Stalinists had only a few years. To make matters worse—or better, depending on viewpoint—they did not use these years in a conventional Stalinist manner. Under Schaff's guidance and at somewhat erratic Soviet bidding, the institute became an awkward series of half-measures, reminiscent of much of Polish Stalinism. When Poland's communists fell back and regrouped in 1956, the IKKN/INS occupied a lonely position they preferred to abandon. (shrink)
Argues that the key distinction between human and nonhuman social cognition consists in our complex, diverse and flexible capacities to shape each other's minds in ways that make them easier to interpret.
We propose a new schema for the deduction theorem and prove that the deductive system S of a prepositional logic L fulfills the proposed schema if and only if there exists a finite set A(p, q) of propositional formulae involving only prepositional letters p and q such that A(p, p) L and p, A(p, q) s q.
According to the evaluativist theory of bodily pain, the overall phenomenology of a painful experience is explained by attributing to it two types of representational content—an indicative content that represents bodily damage or disturbance, and an evaluative content that represents that condition as bad for the subject. This paper considers whether evaluativism can offer a suitable explanation of aversive auditory phenomenology—the experience of awful noises—and argues that it can only do so by conceding that auditory evaluative content would be guilty (...) of widespread error. Defending such an error-theory, moreover, comes with several explanatory costs. (shrink)
The problem of ‘divine hiddenness’ arises from the lack of an explanation for why an all-loving God would choose not to make his existence evident. I argue that Kant provides a compelling solution to this problem in an often overlooked passage located near the end of the second Critique. Kant’s suggestion is that God’s revealing himself would preclude the development of virtue because we would lose the experience of conflict between self-interest and the law. I provide a reconstruction and defence (...) of Kant’s argument, and I explain why it is consistent with his overall position in the second Critique. (shrink)
In French, the word « expérience » has two different meanings, which often merge into each other: whether one hears it as « to experience » or as « to experiment », one will take it towards lay knowledge and techniques of struggle, or towards scientific protocols and techniques of governance. This article rides on this ambiguity, putting the two sides of this notion to the service, and to the test, of an analysis of practices and policies dealing with the (...) issue of drugs. On this specific question, the two meanings of political « expérience » are both maximally divergent and intimately tied to each other. (shrink)
A generalized Wittgensteinian semantics for propositional languages is presented, based on a lattice of elementary situations. Of these, maximal ones are possible worlds, constituting a logical space; minimal ones are logical atoms, partitioned into its dimensions. A verifier of a proposition is an elementary situation such that if real it makes true. The reference (or objective) of a proposition is a situation, which is the set of all its minimal verifiers. (Maximal ones constitute its locus.) Situations are shown to form (...) a Boolean algebra, and the Boolean set algebra of loci is its representation. Wittgenstein's is a special case, admitting binary dimensions only. (shrink)
W.E.B. Du Bois’s elegy for his infant son, “Of the Passing of the First-Born,” in The Souls of Black Folk, has received relatively scant attention from political theorists. Yet it illuminates crucial developments in Du Bois’s political thought. It memorializes a tragedy central to his turn from scientific facts to rhetorical appeals to emotion. Its rhetoric also exemplifies a broader tension in his writings, between masculinist and elitist commitments and more insurrectionary impulses. In its normalizing rhetorical mode, which dominates, the (...) elegy depicts an idealized patriarchal bourgeois household—potentially eliciting white readers’ sympathetic identification, but failing to displace the gendered and classed logic of racial exclusion. Its moments of transgressive rhetoric complicate or refuse such identification, celebrating Burghardt’s racial impurity and invoking a lineage of black maternal ambivalence. Though each is vexed and ephemeral, these moments of transgressive rhetoric reveal countervailing impulses that Du Bois would articulate in later writings. (shrink)
The paper applies the theory presented in A Formal Ontology of Situations (this journal, vol. 41 (1982), no. 4) to obtain a typology of metaphysical systems by interpreting them as different ontologies of situations. Four are treated in some detail: Hume's diachronic atomism, Laplacean determinism, Hume's synchronic atomism, and Wittgenstein's logical atomism. Moreover, the relation of that theory to the situation semantics of Perry and Barwise is discussed.
Probably no intellectual has suffered more distortion and abuse than Spencer. He is continually condemned for things he never said – indeed, he is taken to task for things he explicitly denied. The target of academic criticism is usually the mythical Spencer rather than the real Spencer; and although some critics may derive immense satisfaction from their devastating refutations of a Spencer who never existed, these treatments hinder rather than advance the cause of knowledge.
Many contemporary epistemologists take rational inference to be a conscious action performed by the thinker (Boghossian 2014; 2018; Valaris 2014; Malmgren 2018). It is tempting to think that rational evaluability requires responsibility, which in turn requires conscious action. In that case, unconscious cognition involves merely associative or otherwise arational processing. This paper argues instead for deep rationalism: unconscious inference often exhibits the same rational status and richly structured logical character as conscious inference. The central case study is rationalization, in which (...) people shift their attitudes in logically structured, reason-responsive ways in response to evidence of their own incompetence or immorality. These attitude shifts are irrational in a way that reflects on the thinker. Thus rationally evaluable inference extends downward into the unconscious. Many take the sole aim of belief to be truth (Velleman 2000) or knowledge (Williamson 2000), but the prevalence of rationalization suggests that belief updating often aims instead at preserving our positive conceptions of ourselves—that is, belief updating is part of a psychological immune system (Gilbert 2006; Mandelbaum 2019). This paper argues that the psychological immune system comprises a suite of distinct cognitive mechanisms, some (ir)rational and some arational, which are united by a common function of avoiding the maladaptive predomination of negative affect and maintaining stable motivation. Other aspects of the psychological immune system include (i) a domain-general positive bias in evaluative attitudes and (ii) “terror management,” i.e., the systematic strengthening of meaning-conferring beliefs to avoid death anxiety. The multiplicity of processes underlying the psychological immune system point toward an irrational but adaptive function of cognition to keep us motivated in a world rife with negativity and death. (shrink)
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