fusion theory challenges efforts to see theory as inhibiting by presenting an approach that is innovative, eclectic, and subtle in order to draw out competing and constellating ideas and opinions. This collected volume of essays examines fusion theory and demonstrates how the theory can be applied to the reading of various works of Indian English novelists.
Traditional Western conceptions of immortality characteristically presume that we come into existence at a particular time , live out our earthly span and then die. According to some, our death may then be followed by a deathless post-mortem existence. In other words, it is assumed that we are born only once and die only once; and that – at least on some accounts – we are future-sempiternal creatures. The Western secular tradition affirms at least ; the Western religious tradition – (...) Christianity, Judaism, Islam – generally affirms both and . The Indian tradition, however, typically denies both and . That is, it maintains both that we all have pre-existed beginninglessly, and that we have lived many times before and must live many times again in this world. The Indian picture, then, is that we have died and been reborn innumerable times previous to this life and we will be reborn many times in the future. This is sometimes called the Indian belief in reincarnation. The difficulty with this usage is that the term ‘reincarnation’ suggests a belief in an immortal soul that transmigrates or reincarnates. However Buddhism, while affirming rebirth, specifically denies the existence of an eternal soul. Thus the term ‘rebirth’ is preferable for referring to the generally espoused Indian doctrine. (shrink)
Questions about the meaning of life have traditionally been regarded as being of particular concern to philosophers. It is sometimes complained that contemporary analytic philosophy fails to address such questions, but there do exist illuminating recent discussions of these questions by analytic philosophers. 1 Perhaps what lurks behind the complaint is a feeling that these discussions are insufficiently close to actual living situations and hence often seem rather thin and bland compared with the vivid portrayals of such situations in autobiography (...) or fiction. I therefore want to focus on two works by Tolstoy—one autobiographical, one fictional—and try to see what philosophical lessons can be learned from them, particularly with regard to questions about the relation of death to the meaning of life. (shrink)
Would personal immortality have any value for one so endowed? An affirmative answer would seem so obvious to some that they might be tempted to go so far as to claim that immortality is a condition of life's having any value at all. The claim that immortality is a necessary condition for the meaningfulness of life seems untenable. What, however, of the claim that immortality is a sufficient condition for the meaningfulness of life? Though some might hold this to be (...) the characteristic religious view, this is certainly disputable. Thus McTaggart reminds us, for instance, that ‘Buddhism... holds immortality to be the natural state of man, from which only the most perfect can escape.’ I want to argue that we can imagine variants of personal immortality which would not be valuable and hence immortality in itself cannot be a sufficient condition for value. What is required for the meaningfulness of life is that life exhibit certain valuable qualities. But then the endless exhibition of these qualities is not only unnecessary for the meaningfulness of life, but the endlessness of a life can even devalue those qualities that would make valuable a single, bounded life. (shrink)
My thesis is that ‘rational’ is an absolute concept like ‘flat’ and ‘clean’. Absolute concepts are best defined as absences. In the case of flatness, the absence of bumps, curves, and irregularities. In the case of cleanliness, the absence of dirt. Rationality, then, is the absence of irrationalities such as bias, circularity, dogmatism, and inconsistency.
Sorensen presents a general theory of thought experiments: what they are, how they work, what are their virtues and vices. On Sorensen's view, philosophy differs from science in degree, but not in kind. For this reason, he claims, it is possible to understand philosophical thought experiments by concentrating on their resemblance to scientific relatives. Lessons learned about scientific experimentation carry over to thought experiment, and vice versa. Sorensen also assesses the hazards and pseudo-hazards of thought experiments. Although he grants that (...) there are interesting ways in which the method leads us astray, he attacks most scepticism about thought experiments as arbitrary. They should be used, he says, as they generally are used--as part of a diversified portfolio of techniques. All of these devices are individually susceptible to abuse, fallacy, and error. Collectively, however, they provide a network of cross-checks that make for impressive reliability. (shrink)
Following on from Roy Bhaskar’s first two books, A Realist Theory of Science and The Possibility of Naturalism, Scientific Realism and Human Emancipation, establishes the conception of social science as explanatory—and thence emancipatory—critique. _Scientific Realism and Human Emancipation_ starts from an assessment of the impasse of contemporary accounts of science as stemming from an incomplete critique of positivism. It then proceeds to a systematic exposition of scientific realism in the form of transcendental realism, highlighting a conception of science as explanatory (...) of a structured, differentiated and changing world. Turning to the social domain, the book argues for a view of the social order as conditioned by, and emergent from, nature. Advocating a critical naturalism, the author shows how the transformational model of social activity together with the conception of social science as explanatory critique which it entails, resolves the divisions and dualisms besetting orthodox social and normative theory: between society and the individual, structure and agency, meaning and behavior, mind and body, reason and cause, fact and value, and theory and practice. The book then goes on to discuss the emancipatory implications of social science and sketches the nature of the depth investigation characteristically entailed. In the highly innovative third part of the book Roy Bhaskar completes his critique of positivism by developing a theory of philosophical discourse and ideology, on the basis of the transcendental realism and critical naturalism already developed, showing how positivism functions as a restrictive ideology of and for science and other social practices. (shrink)
Roy Sorenson offers a unique exploration of an ancient problem: vagueness. Did Buddha become a fat man in one second? Is there a tallest short giraffe? According to Sorenson's epistemicist approach, the answers are yes! Although vagueness abounds in the way the world is divided, Sorenson argues that the divisions are sharp; yet we often do not know where they are. Written in Sorenson'e usual inventive and amusing style, this book offers original insight on language and logic, the way world (...) is, and our understanding of it. (shrink)
Rosenberg argues that economists have embraced the methodology of scientific research programs, and the writings of Imre Lakatos, at the same time that philosophers have been abandoning that approach. According to Rosenberg, the methodology of scientific research programs appears to allow some work in economics, which is neither tested nor testable, to be “scientific” nonetheless. That is, MSRP justifies some current practices which look hard to justify on strict falsificationist, or dogmatic positivist, grounds.
Introduction: Critical realism, hegelian dialectic and the problems of philosophy preliminary considerations -- Objectives of the book -- Dialectic : an initial orientation -- Negation -- Four degrees of critical realism -- Prima facie objections to critical realism -- On the sources and general character of the hegelian dialectic -- On the immanent critique and limitations of the hegelian dialectic -- The fine structure of the hegelian dialectic -- Dialectic : the logic of absence, arguments, themes, perspectives, configurations -- Absence (...) -- Emergence -- Contradiction I : Hegel and Marx -- Contradiction II : misunderstandings -- On the materialist diffraction of dialectic -- Dialectical arguments and the unholy trinity -- Dialectical motifs : tina formation, mediation, concrete universality, etc -- On the generalized theory of the dialectical remark, the failure of detachment, and the presence of the past -- Dialectical critical naturalism -- Towards a real definition of dialectic -- Dialectical critical realism and the dialectic of freedom -- Ontology -- The dialectic of truth -- On the emergence and derivability of dialecticized transcendental realism -- 1m realism : non-identity -- 2e realism : negativity -- Space, time and tense -- Social science, explanatory critique, emancipatory axiology -- 3l realism : totality -- 4d realism : agency -- The dialectic of desire to freedom -- Dialectical critical realism and the dialectics of critical realism -- Metacritical dialectics : irrealism and its consequences -- Irrealism -- The problems of philosophy and their resolution -- Contradictions of the critical philosophy -- Dilemmas of the beautiful soul and the unhappy consciousness -- Master and slave : from dialectics of reconciliation to dialectics of liberation -- The metacritique of the hegelian dialectic -- Marxian dialectic i: the rational kernel in the mystical shell -- Marxian dialectic ii: the mystical shell in the rational kernel -- Metacritical dialectics : philosophical ideologies, their sublation and explanation -- The consequences of irrealism -- Diffracted and retotalized dialectics -- Dialectic as the pulse of freedom. (shrink)
Originally published in 1989, Reclaiming Reality still provides the most accessible introduction to the increasingly influential multi-disciplinary and international body of thought, known as critical realism. It is designed to "underlabour" both for the sciences, especially the human sciences, and for the projects of human emancipation which such sciences may come to inform; and provides an enlightening intervention in current debates about realism and relativism, positivism and poststucturalism, modernism and postmodernism, etc. Elaborating his critical realist perspective on society, nature, science (...) and philosophy itself, Roy Bhaskar shows how this perspective can be used to undermine currently fashionable ideologies of the Right, and at the same time, to clear the ground for a reinvigorated Left. Reclaiming Reality contains powerful critiques of some of the most important schools of thought and thinkers of recent years—from Bachelard and Feyerabend to Rorty and Habermas; and it advances novel and convincing resolutions of many traditional philosophical problems. Now with a new introduction from Mervyn Hartwig, this book continues to provide a straightforward and stimulating introduction to current debates in philosophy and social theory for the interested lay reader and student alike. Reclaiming Reality will be of particular value not only for critical realists but for all those concerned with the revitalization of the socialist emancipatory project and the renaissance of the Marxist theoretical tradition. Roy Bhaskar is the originator of the philosophy of critical realism, and the author of many acclaimed and influential works including A Realist Theory of Science, The Possibility of Naturalism, Scientific Realism and Human Emancipation and Dialectic: The Pulse of Freedom. He is an editor of the recently published Critical Realism: Essential Readings and is currently chair of the Centre for Critical Realism. (shrink)
Since its original publication in 1979, The Possibility of Naturalism has been one of the most influential works in contemporary philosophy of science and social science. It is a cornerstone of the critical realist position, which is now widely seen as offering a viable alternative to move positivism and postmodernism. This revised edition includes a new foreword.
The Yogacara school of Buddhist thought claims that all language-use is metaphorical. Exploring the profound implications of this assertion, Roy Tzhoar makes the case for viewing the Yogacara account as a full-fledged theory of meaning, one that is not merely linguistic, but also applicable both in the world and in texts.
Sorensen here offers a unified solution to a large family of philosophical puzzles and paradoxes through a study of "blindspots": consistent propositions that cannot be rationally accepted by certain individuals even though they might by true.
The failure of philosophy -- A new political philosophy -- Radical democracy -- Politics of freedom -- The future of democracy -- Decentralization of power -- A Humanist approach to elections -- A new approach to political and economic problems -- Human nature and humanist practice -- Humanist politics -- Integral humanism -- The way out -- New humanism -- The principles of radical democracy.
Roy T Cook examines the Yablo paradox--a paradoxical, infinite sequence of sentences, each of which entails the falsity of all others that follow it. He focuses on questions of characterization, circularity, and generalizability, and pays special attention to the idea that it provides us with a semantic paradox that involves no circularity.
In a brilliant series of studies, Roy Bhaskar, the originator of the influential, multi-disciplinary and international philosophy of critical realism, presents for the first time in published form, his new philosophy of Meta-Reality. The philosophy of Meta-Reality confirms many aspects of the great philosophical traditions of the past, while correcting their one-sidedness and transcending their dualism and dichotomies, representing what is valid in them in a radically new way, apt for our contemporary times of global crisis.
This volume contains invited and contributed papers delivered at a symposium on the occasion of Professor Glauber's 60th birthday. The papers, many of which are authored by world leaders in their fields, contain recent research work in quantum optics, statistical mechanics and high energy physics related to the pioneering work of Professor Roy Glauber; most contain original research material that is previously unpublished. The concepts of coherence, cooperativity and fluctuations in systems with many degrees of freedom are a common base (...) for all of Professor Glauber's research initiatives and, in fact, for much of contemporary physics. His role in shaping these cconcepts is reflected and honoured in the papers contained in this book. (shrink)
The eclipse riddle -- Seeing surfaces -- The disappearing act -- Spinning shadows -- Berkeley's shadow -- Para-reflections -- Para-refractions : shadowgrams and the black drop -- Goethe's colored shadows -- Filtows -- Holes in the light -- Black and blue -- Seeing in black and white -- We see in the dark -- Hearing silence.
Entrepreneurs who start a business to serve both self-interests and collective interests by addressing unmet social and environmental needs are usually referred to as sustainable entrepreneurs. Compared with regular entrepreneurs, we argue that sustainable entrepreneurs face specific challenges when establishing their businesses owing to the discrepancy between the creation and appropriation of private value and social value. We hypothesize that when starting a business, sustainable entrepreneurs feel more hampered by perceived barriers, such as the institutional environment and have a different (...) risk attitude and perception than regular entrepreneurs. We use two waves of the Flash Eurobarometer survey on entrepreneurship, which contains information on start-up motivations, start-up barriers, and risk perceptions of approximately 3000 business owners across 33 countries. We find that sustainable entrepreneurs indeed perceive more institutional barriers in terms of a lack of financial, administrative, and informational support at business start-up than regular entrepreneurs. Further, no significant differences between sustainable and regular entrepreneurs are found in terms of their risk attitudes or perceived financial risks. However, sustainable entrepreneurs are more likely to fear personal failure than regular entrepreneurs, which is explained by their varied and complex stakeholder relations. These insights may serve as an important signal for both governments and private capital providers in enhancing the institutional climate. (shrink)
The paper deals with the early Yogācāra strategies for explaining intersubjective agreement under a ‘mere representations’ view. Examining Vasubandhu, Asaṅga, and Sthiramati’s use of the example of intersubjective agreement among the hungry ghosts, it is demonstrated that in contrast to the way in which it was often interpreted by contemporary scholars, this example in fact served these Yogācāra thinkers to perform an ironic inversion of the realist premise—showing that intersubjective agreement not only does not require the existence of mind-independent objects (...) but is in fact incompatible with their existence. By delineating the phenomenological complexity underlying this account, the paper then proceeds to unpack the emergent Yogācāra account of intersubjectivity, its implications on the understanding of being, the life-world, and alterity, arguing that it proposes a radical revision of the way we conceive of the ‘shared’ and ‘private’ distinction in respect to experiences, both ordinarily and philosophically. (shrink)
This unique collection of studies, based for the most part on transcripts of talks in India, Europe and America over the last five years, covers the period in which Roy Bhaskar was developing out of the seeds of the most radical phase of critical realism, his new philosophy of meta-Reality. Because of the spontaneous and informal nature of these talks and discussions, this book provides probably the most immediately accessible introduction to his thought, both for those new to it and (...) those already familiar with it alike. (shrink)
Can God create a stone too heavy for him to lift? Can time have a beginning? Which came first, the chicken or the egg? Riddles, paradoxes, conundrums--for millennia the human mind has found such knotty logical problems both perplexing and irresistible. Now Roy Sorensen offers the first narrative history of paradoxes, a fascinating and eye-opening account that extends from the ancient Greeks, through the Middle Ages, the Enlightenment, and into the twentieth century. When Augustine asked what God was doing before (...) He made the world, he was told: "Preparing hell for people who ask questions like that." A Brief History of the Paradox takes a close look at "questions like that" and the philosophers who have asked them, beginning with the folk riddles that inspired Anaximander to erect the first metaphysical system and ending with such thinkers as Lewis Carroll, Ludwig Wittgenstein, and W.V. Quine. Organized chronologically, the book is divided into twenty-four chapters, each of which pairs a philosopher with a major paradox, allowing for extended consideration and putting a human face on the strategies that have been taken toward these puzzles. Readers get to follow the minds of Zeno, Socrates, Aquinas, Ockham, Pascal, Kant, Hegel, and many other major philosophers deep inside the tangles of paradox, looking for, and sometimes finding, a way out. Filled with illuminating anecdotes and vividly written, A Brief History of the Paradox will appeal to anyone who finds trying to answer unanswerable questions a paradoxically pleasant endeavor. (shrink)
The primary narrative problem of the analyst is, then, not how to tell a normative chronological life history; rather, it is how to tell the several histories of each analysis. From this vantage point, the event with which to start the model analytic narration is not the first occasion of thought—Freud's wish-fulfilling hallucination of the absent breast; instead, one should start from a narrative account of the psychoanalyst's retelling of something told by an analysand and the analysand's response to that (...) narrative transformation. In the narration of this moment of dialogue lies the structure of the analytic past, present, and future. It is from this beginning that the accounts of early infantile development are constructed. Those traditional developmental accounts, over which analysts labored so hard, may now be seen in a new light: less as positivistic sets of factual findings about mental development and more as hermeneutically filled-in narrative structures. The narrative structures that have been adopted control the telling of the events of the analysis, including the many tellings and retellings of the analysand's life history. The time is always present. The event is always an outgoing dialogue. Roy Schafer is clinical professor of psychology and psychiatry at Cornell University Medical College, adjunct professor of psychology at New York University, and a supervising and training analyst at Columbia University's Center for Psychoanalytic Training and Research. He is the author of A New Language for Psychoanalysis, Language and Insight, and Narrative Actions in Psychoanalysis: Narratives of Space and Narratives of Time. (shrink)
Surprisingly, the fact that the speaker is lying is sometimes common knowledge between everyone involved. Strangely, we condemn these bald-faced lies more severely than disguised lies. The wrongness of lying springs from the intent to deceive – just the feature missing in the case of bald-faced lies. These puzzling lies arise systematically when assertions are forced. Intellectual duress helps to explain another type of non-deceptive false assertion : lying to yourself. In the end, I conclude that the apparent intensity of (...) our disapproval of non-deceptive lies is a rhetorical illusion. (shrink)
A co-authored article with Roy T. Cook forthcoming in a special edition on the Caesar Problem of the journal Dialectica. We argue against the appeal to equivalence classes in resolving the Caesar Problem.
Can the early Yogācāra be said to present a systematic theory of meaning? The paper argues that Sthiramati’s bhāṣya on Vasubandhu’s Triṃśikā, in which he argues that all language-use is metaphorical, indeed amounts to such a theory, both because of the text’s engagement with the wider Indian philosophical conversation about reference and meaning and by virtue of the questions it addresses and its motivations. Through a translation and analysis of key sections of Sthiramati’s commentary I present the main features of (...) this theory of meaning and discuss the ways in which it is distinct from Vasubandhu’s ideas. I demonstrate how this theory of meaning enabled Sthiramati to present a unique understanding of discourse that distinguishes between varying levels of truth within the conventional realm. This understanding sat well with the Yogācāra soteriological and theoretical needs, and most importantly, enabled him to establish the meaningfulness of the school’s own metaphysical discourse. Securing this meaningfulness was especially important to Sthiramati in meeting the challenge posed by the radical conventionalism of the Madhyamaka, and his response as I interpret it suggests that one of the main disputes between the early Yogācāra with the Mādhyamika, at least as reflected in the Triṃśikā-bhāṣya, in fact turns on linguistic rather than ontological issues. (shrink)
Logical pluralism is the view that there is more than one correct logic. In this article, I explore what logical pluralism is, and what it entails, by: (i) distinguishing clearly between relativism about a particular domain and pluralism about that domain; (ii) distinguishing between a number of forms logical pluralism might take; (iii) attempting to distinguish between those versions of pluralism that are clearly true and those that are might be controversial; and (iv) surveying three prominent attempts to argue for (...) logical pluralism and evaluating them along the criteria provided by (ii) and (iii). (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to show how thought experiments help us learn about laws. After providing examples of this kind of nomic illumination in the first section, I canvass explanations of our modal knowledge and opt for an evolutionary account. The basic application is that the laws of nature have led us to develop rough and ready intuitions of physical possibility which are then exploited by thought experimenters to reveal some of the very laws responsible for those intuitions. (...) The good news is that natural selection ensures a degree of reliability for the intuitions. The bad news is that the evolutionary account seems to limit the range of reliable thought experiment to highly practical and concrete contexts. In the fifth section, I provide reasons for thinking that we are not as slavishly limited as a pessimistic construal of natural selection suggests. Nevertheless, I promote the idea that biology is a promising source of predictions and diagnoses of thought experiment failures. (shrink)