In this article, the theory of argumentation set out by the Dutch scholars Frans van Eemeren and Rob Grootendorst is brought to bear in subjecting the general form of the argument from coherence to a critical analysis. First, a distinction is brought out between two basic kinds of argument from coherence: in one use this argumentative structure occurs as a sequence of two arguments establishing that a standpoint constitutes a particular instantiation or a inherent quality of the system it will (...) become part of (symptomatic argument); in the other use we have a main symptomatic argument supported by a subordinate argument appealing to instrumental considerations (pragmatic argument). It is then claimed that arguments from coherence are complex types of argumentation, structured at various argumentative levels, where the premises must be taken together to yield an adequate defence of the conclusion (coordinative argumentation). Finally, an evaluative assessment is made as to whether arguments from coherence can serve acceptably as tools for settling disputes: it will be maintained that we can generally welcome these argumentative structures as sound and fully acceptable provided we are aware of the interpretive discretion their use entails. (shrink)
In this paper we present a method to reduce the decision problem of several infinite-valued propositional logics to their finite-valued counterparts. We apply our method to Łukasiewicz, Gödel and Product logics and to some of their combinations. As a byproduct we define sequent calculi for all these infinite-valued logics and we give an alternative proof that their tautology problems are in co-NP.
This paper provides an analysis of Aeneas' visit to the "parva Troia" in Epirus , centered on the theme of "substitutes" and "doubles," and beginning with Andromache, the heroine of this encounter. With Helenus as a substitute for her deceased husband, Hector, Andromache is involved in a sort of levirate marriage. Moreover, she reacts to Aeneas and his companions as if they too were "substitutes," living persons who immediately evoke images of the dead, "doubles" for her lost loved ones . (...) This makes Andromache perfectly at home in "parva Troia", which is itself a "double," a "substitute" for the city destroyed by the Greeks. Except that, like all "doubles," "parva Troia" is an insubstantial illusion, the effigy of something that no longer exists. This city and its landscape can only be "seen," not actually "inhabited." These Trojan exiles are thus victims of a syndrome very similar to "nostalgia" . Helenus and his companions are "too faithful" to their vanished city; their destiny, like that of the dead, has been hopelessly fulfilled. Aeneas, however, is not allowed to become a prisoner of the past. Against his will, he must be "unfaithful" to his former city: he will not rebuild Troy. The companions of Helenus and Andromache suffer from an "excess of identity" . Aeneas, on the other hand, submits to the almost total loss of his own identity: except for the Penates, a highly significant, sacred part of the lost patria, which will contribute to the formation of his identity in a way similar to Helenus and Andromache's own nostalgic cult of the image of Troy. (shrink)
From Hegel to Heidegger and Agamben, modern Western philosophy has been haunted by how to think the connections between death, humanness and animality. This article explores how these connections have been represented by Italian writers Tommaso Landolfi and Stefano D'Arrigo. Specifically, it investigates how the death of a nonhuman animal is portrayed in two works: ‘Mani’, a short story by Landolfi collected in his first book Il dialogo dei massimi sistemi, and D'Arrigo's massive novel Horcynus Orca. Both ‘Mani’ and (...) Horcynus Orca display how the fictional representation of the death of a nonhuman animal challenges any philosophical positions of human superiority and establishes instead animality as the unheimlich mirror of the human condition. In fact, in both stories, the animal — a mouse and a killer whale, respectively — do die and their deaths represent a mise en abyme that both arrests the human narrative and sparks... (shrink)
Di Bella and Schmaltz write in their introduction that the early modern problem of universals originates largely in a turn away from ancient and late-medieval problems. The modern problem, they suggest, investigates universals by asking what it means to include them as contents of our thoughts. The collection of essays that follows demonstrates persuasively, however, that we should resist the impulse, no matter how heuristic, to regard each era as having its own—much less a single—problem of universals. Despite the variety (...) and interest of other contributions to the collection, I focus here on essays that display greater continuity among the eras, and on two essays addressing thinkers whose position on... (shrink)
The editors of this bulky volume tell us that an issue of the Stanford Humanities Review ‘constituted the seed of the project that culminated in this book’ (vii). They don’t say that it was the Spring 1995 issue of that pioneering open-access e-journal, nor do they tell us how many or which of the 19 papers in this book derive from it. But since that issue is still online (as at August 28, 2006), at http://www.stanford.edu/group/SHR/4-2/text/toc.html, any reader can see that (...) 12 of its 15 papers have been reprinted almost unaltered here, a decade later, while in addition almost all of the editors’ 1995 introduction appears again in their expanded text. (shrink)
Upshot: Written by recognized experts in their fields, the book is a set of essays that deals with the influences of early cybernetics, computational theory, artificial intelligence, and connectionist networks on the historical development of computational-representational theories of cognition. In this review, I question the relevance of computability arguments and Jonasian phenomenology, which has been extensively invoked in recent discussions of autopoiesis and Ashby’s homeostats. Although the book deals only indirectly with constructivist approaches to cognition, it is useful reading for (...) those interested in machine-based models of mind. (shrink)