Frauchiger and Renner have recently claimed to prove that “Single-world interpretations of quantum theory cannot be self-consistent”. This is contradicted by a construction due to Bell, inspired by Bohmian mechanics, which shows that any quantum system can be modelled in such a way that there is only one “world” at any time, but the predictions of quantum theory are reproduced. This Bell–Bohmian theory is applied to the experiment proposed by Frauchiger and Renner, and their argument is critically examined. It is (...) concluded that it is their version of “standard quantum theory”, incorporating state vector collapse upon measurement, that is not self-consistent. (shrink)
Of all the terms Jean Améry might have chosen to explain the deepest effects of torture, the one he selected was world. To be tortured was to lose trust in the world, to become incapable of feeling at home in the world. In July 1943, Améry was arrested by the Gestapo in Belgium and tortured by the SS at the former fortress of Breendonk. With the first blow from the torturers, he famously wrote, one loses trust in the world. With (...) that blow, one can no l onger be certain that “by reason of written or unwritten social contracts the other person will spare me — and more precisely stated, that he will respect my physical, and with it also my metaphysical, being.” In a vault inside the fortress, beyond the reach of anyone who might help — a wife, a mother, a brother, a friend — it turned out that all social contracts had been broken and torture was possible. His attackers had no respect for him, and no-one else could or would help. (shrink)
In his thoughtful defence of very modest moral enhancement, David DeGrazia1 makes the following assumption: ‘Behavioural improvement is highly desirable in the interest of making the world a better place and securing better lives for human beings and other sentient beings’. Later in the paper, he gives a list of some psychological characteristics that ‘all reasonable people can agree … represent moral defects’. I think I am a reasonable person, and I agree that most if not all items on the (...) lists do represent moral defects—I certainly would regard them as such in a close family member or friend. But if I were in the business of ‘making the world a better place and securing better lives for human beings and other sentient beings’, I would hesitate to prescribe moral enhancement for everyone with these acknowledged defects. A lot of good work, from removing tumours to negotiating treaties, may be best done by people with serious moral defects.For a simple consequentialist, a moral defect is just a trait that tends to make the world a worse place. Not being a consequentialist, I think that moral defects should be identified independently of their tendency to produce worse outcomes. For this reason, I think it's necessary to qualify DeGrazia's starting assumption—I think behavioural improvement may sometimes be undesirable if our goal is to make the world a better place. My reasons will be familiar to readers of Bernard Williams.As …. (shrink)
In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:The more I love someone, the more firmly or steadily I love her – the more ready I am to act for her good; accordingly, the more I love someone the more prepared I am to suffer evil for her sake. My desire for her good makes me want to act for her good. I appeal to this love when deciding what I should do; and in acting I (...) try to make the world around me conform to what I desire for her. But one might argue that I could be virtuous and order every good that I seek ultimately to my own good.This essay examines John Duns Scotus's efforts in Ordinatio 3.27, where he treats the natural and infused virtues of charity, to escape such an inference, an inference that he associates, I argue, with Aristotle. For Scotus we never act morally when the end that structures what we do and think is ultimately our own good. Against Aristotle, Scotus believes that the distinctive motive of virtuous agency is not the kalon of the virtuous act – its moral beauty – as aimed at the actualization of the agent's good. Rather, the distinctive motive of virtuous agency is the kalon of the virtuous act as aimed at the actualization or preservation of another's good. The virtuous agent does not seek the good of others instrumentally. His principal motives are not ulterior motives. The virtuous father, for example, seeks his child's good principally and his own good secondarily. For Scotus the moral act is an essentially ordered act in which the agent's self-interest is subordinated to the good of the other.I will argue that if careful attention is paid to Scotus's treatments of friendship and heroic self-sacrifice in Ordinatio 3.27, as well as the medieval debates in which they find a place, then the text warrants just this reading of Scotus's moral psychology. I will contrast Scotus's treatments of friendship and heroic self-sacrifice principally with Aristotle's, but also with those of Thomas Aquinas, Henry of Ghent, and Godfrey of Fontaines. In Ordinatio 3.27 Scotus shifts the virtuous agent's center of gravity from the self to the concrete individuals existing outside of him. This shift rests on a precisely defined theory of desirability that is enshrined in the distinction that Scotus draws between two grades of lovability of an object – a distinction that has received little scholarly attention. For Scotus the principal basis of friendship is not found, as Aristotle would have it, in a metaphysics of identity and resemblance. Rather human experience teaches us both that the most basic ratio of friendship is the ratio of lovability, a friend's amabilitas, and that the ratio of lovability is the moral beauty or uprightness of a friend, his honestas.A close reading of heroic self-sacrifice in Ordinatio 3.27 will bring further clarity to Scotus's moral psychology. Scotus's treatments of both friendship and heroic self-sacrifice are driven by the principle that God has made the human will so that it is free to tend toward every object in the manner dictated by reason. From this principle it follows that apart from grace we must be able to love more than the self whatever is better than the self, which effectively means that we must have a natural capacity to love God and the common good over the self. It also follows that if the distinctive motive of virtuous agency does not vary, as Scotus believes, then moral motives must properly be other-regarding motives. In Ordinatio 3.27 Scotus considers the example of the soldier who does not believe that the soul is immortal and who yet risks death for the common good because he loves it more than he loves himself. Thomas Osborne has recently argued that this soldier's choice and act exemplifies our ability to act freely on selfless motives against what.. (shrink)
H. Arendt asserts that "in the modern world authority has disappeared almost to the vanishing point." However, she attributes some kind of authority to the words of poets, in the case discussed here, to those of her friend W. H. Auden. The precious gift of the poets to write poems that have an "unconstraining" power , gives that authority to their voice.
The paper explores the imagery and constructions of alterity in the contemporary world. The image of the other is at the same time the image of ourselves, mostly through the metaphor of the “stranger.” This “stranger” represents the unknown, so he/she occasionally provokes fear and resentment, if only for appearing physically different in the “mainstream” culture. This paper traces the genesis and development of certain modernist ideals . The apparent lack of comprehension for others is just a symptom of the (...) much deeper disorder - in the quest for rationality, the meaning of simple human communication seems to be forgotten. Just like in a hall of mirrors, the images that people encounter are basically the images of themselves - only they have been distorted through nationalist or racist rhetoric. Using the examples from theory as well as from specific cultures , and following on the works of scholars like Kristeva, Linke and Balibar, the author demonstrates the logic behind the need to exclude others, as well as the fact that all of these attempts will eventually backfire. For we cannot exclude others if we do not at the same time exclude ourselves. (shrink)
In popular image, Jesus as friend is sentimentalized, but not so in the Fourth Gospel. Jesus gave his life in love for others and always spoke and acted boldly—marks of friendship in the cultural world of the New Testament.
Trusting a friend without reservation in the face of an alien world is a major concern of the poet of Job who forces us to consider friendship as a radical option for life in an age of increased anonymity and contrived sensitivity.
The chapter studies the speculative realist critique of the notion of finitude and its implications for the theme of the "end of the world" as a teleological and eschatological idea. It is first explained how Quentin Meillassoux proposes to overcome both Kantian and Heideggerian "correlationist" approaches with his speculative thesis of absolute contingency. It is then shown that Meillassoux's speculative materialism also dismantles the close link forged by Kant between the teleological ends of human existence and a teleological notion of (...) the "end of the world." Speculative materialism no longer sees the end of thought, or the end of the thinking human being, as an insurmountable limit of conceivability, but rather as one contingent and possible event among others. This allows us to conceive an "end of all things" in a positive sense with regard to which the old eschatological hope for the end of the present world of injustice and for the emergence of a new world of perfect, "divine" justice becomes meaningful and legitimate in an entirely new sense. (shrink)
Written in the days immediately following the death of Jacques Derrida on 9 October 2004, this essay attempts to bear witness tothe memory of Jacques Derrida as a writer and thinker and, even more personally, a mentor and friend. Written out of gratitude and affection, but also out of an almost overwhelming emotion, the essay is offered here, not without trepidation, in the hope that, in some small measure, the author’s emotion, affection, and genuine gratitude for the life and work (...) of Jacques Derrida may be shared. (shrink)
In order to perfectly describe the world, it is not enough to speak truly. One must also use the right concepts - including the right logical concepts. One must use concepts that "carve at the joints", that give the world's "structure". There is an objectively correct way to "write the book of the world". Much of metaphysics, as traditionally conceived, is about the fundamental nature of reality; in the present terms, this is about the world's structure. Metametaphysics - inquiry into (...) the status of metaphysical questions - turns on structure. The question of whether ontological, causal, or modal questions are "substantive" is in large part a question of whether the world has ontological, causal, and modal structure - whether quantifiers, causal relations, and modal operators carve at the joints. (shrink)
F.W.J. Schelling's Ages of the World has just begun to receive the critical attention it deserves as a contribution to the philosophy of history. Its most significant philosophical move is to pose the question of the origin of the past itself, asking what “caused” the past. Schelling treats the past not as a past present – but rather as an eternal past, a different dimension of time altogether, and one that was never a present 'now'. For Schelling, the past functions (...) as the transcendental ground of the present, the true 'a priori'. Schelling's account of the creation of this past takes the form of a theogeny: in order to exist, God needed to separate the past from the present. By grounding the creation of the past in a free decision of God, Schelling tries to conceptualize temporality so as to preserve the sort of radical contingency and authentic freedom that he considers essential features of history. In so doing, he opens up a way of viewing time that avoids the pitfalls of the Hegelian dialectic and anticipates some of the 20th century developments in phenomenology. (shrink)
Are we in imminent danger of extinction? Yes, we probably are, argues John Leslie in his chilling account of the dangers facing the human race as we approach the second millenium. The End of the World is a sobering assessment of the many disasters that scientists have predicted and speculated on as leading to apocalypse. In the first comprehensive survey, potential catastrophes - ranging from deadly diseases to high-energy physics experiments - are explored to help us understand the risks. One (...) of the greatest threats facing humankind, however, is the insurmountable fact that we are a relatively young species, a risk which is at the heart of the 'Doomsday Argument'. This argument, if correct, makes the dangers we face more serious than we could have ever imagined. This more than anything makes the arrogance and ignorance of politicians, and indeed philosophers, so disturbing as they continue to ignore the manifest dangers facing future generations. (shrink)
This paper employs an eclectic mix of paradigms in order to discuss constituting characteristics of young children's learning experiences. Drawing upon a phenomenological perspective it examines learning as a form of 'Being' and as the result of learners' engagement with the world in their own, unique, intentional manners. The learners' intentions towards their world are expressed in everyday activity and participation. A social constructivist perspective is thus employed to present learning as situated in meaningful socio-cultural contexts of the everyday, lived (...) world and as a form of participation in those settings. These characteristics of learning are brought together into a holistic, synthesised model, a Gestalt of learning. The proposed synthesis has relevance for and is applicable to educational contexts as a means of making sense of children's learning experiences and of promoting and facilitating them. (shrink)
Abstract: Being-in-the-world defines in Heidegger an ontological and practical existential situation that in a first approach characterizes intellectual knowledge, an approach related to the Husserlian notion of intentionality. In his Curso de teoría del conocimiento, Polo rectifies this characterization, stressing the primacy of theory regarding action, and interpreting the practical (technical) relationship with the world as a lower level of “having”. Making some comparisons between Husserl, Scheler and Jonas, in connection with Polo’s thought, the article presents different accounts of the (...) notion of the world (phenomenological, metaphysical, moral) that allow to clarify the problem of the relationship between contemplation and action in the world. (shrink)
According to Markus Gabriel, the world does not exist. This view—baptised metametaphysical nihilism—is exposited at length in his recent book Fields of Sense, which updates his earlier project of transcendental ontology. In this paper, I question whether meta-metaphysical nihilism is internally coherent, specifically whether the proposition ‘the world does not exist’ is expressible without performative contradiction on that view. Call this the inexpressibility objection. This is not an original objection—indeed it is anticipated in Gabriel’s book. However, I believe that his (...) response to it is inadequate and that I have something illuminating to say about this state of affairs. My claim is that we can distinguish between two senses of ‘the world’, one of which is benign and acceptable, the other not. The acceptable sense of ‘the world’ suffices to answer the inexpressibility objection—at a certain theoretical cost, of course. To explain what this cost is, I turn briefly to an examination of Martin Hägglund’s radical atheism. (shrink)
In this essay I discuss several questions related to the manner in which concepts generally, and religious concepts in particular, are formed. Are some concepts necessary in the sense that, considering the physical makeup of the natural world and our own bio-chemical, perceptual, and cognitive nature, these concepts had to emerge by necessity? If we put considerations of divine revelations aside, I ask regarding religious concepts, what would be the proper way of looking at how they came to be formed? (...) What role does causality play in the formation of empirical and religious concepts, if at all? One of my aims in discussing these and other related questions is to revisit Hilary Putnam’s justificatory basis for rejecting the intelligibility of speaking of absolute conceptions of the world. Although I support his position on this issue, I show some of the hermeneutical problems in his reliance on Wittgenstein’s views concerning language games and worldviews. I also revisit Wittgenstein’s own views about concept formation to discuss the similarities and differences between how religious concepts and empirical concepts are formed. My aim here is to show that the idea of an absolute conception of the world rests on confusing the regulative role that concepts play in our lives for a causative role. (shrink)
The article examines the political challenge and significance of forgiveness as an indispensable response to the inherently imperfect and tragic nature of political life through the lens of the existential, narrative-inspired judging sensibility. While the political significance of forgiveness has been broadly recognized in transitional justice and reconciliation contexts, the question of its importance and appropriateness in the wake of grave injustice and suffering has commonly been approached through constructing a self-centred, rule-based framework, defining forgiveness in terms of a moral (...) duty or virtue. Reliant on a set of prefabricated moral standards, however, this approach risks abstracting from the historical, situated condition of human political existence and thus arguably stands at a remove from the very quandaries and imperfections of the political world, which it purports to address. Against this background, this article draws on Albert Camus’s and Hannah Arendt’s aesthetic, worldly judging sensibility and its ability to kindle the process of coming to terms with the absurd, and perhaps unforgivable character of reality after evil. As an aptitude to engage the world in its particularity, plurality and contingency rather than seeking to subdue and tame it under prefabricated standards of thought, namely, worldly judgement is able to reveal how past tragedies have arisen from the ambiguity of human engagement in the world and thereby also elicit the distinctly human capacities of beginning anew and resisting such actions in the future. As such, I suggest, it is well-suited to bring into clearer focus and confront the main political challenge and significance of forgiveness: how to acknowledge the seriousness of the wrongs committed, yet also enable the possibility of a new beginning and restore among former enemies the sense of responsibility for the shared world. (shrink)
In the last chapter of De immortalitate animae, Pomponazzi claims that the question of immortality, just like the question of the eternity of the world, is a neutral problem. In this paper I claim that Pomponazzi has usually considered the aeternitas mundi as a probable proposition in the Aristotelian sense, rather than as a problem. Furthermore, I evaluate some analyses that use the former issues (among others) to interpret Pomponazzi’s thought.
Truthmaker says that things, broadly construed, are the ontological grounds of truth and, therefore, that things make truths true. Recently, there have been a number of arguments purporting to show that if one embraces Truthmaker, then one ought to embrace Truthmaker Maximalism—the view that all non-analytic propositions have truthmakers. But then if one embraces Truthmaker, one ought to think that negative existentials have truthmakers. I argue that this is false. I begin by arguing that recent attempts by Ross Cameron and (...) Jonathan Schaffer to provide negative existentials with truthmakers fail. I then argue that the conditional—if one embraces Truthmaker, the one ought to embrace Truthmaker Maximalism—is false by considering worlds where very little, if anything at all, exists. The conclusion is that thinking that negative existentials do not have truthmakers, and therefore rejecting Truthmaker Maximalism, need not worry Truthmaker embracers. (shrink)
What is right in the corporation is not what is right in a man's home or in his church," a former vice-president of a large firm observes. "What is right in the corporation is what the guy above you wants from you." Such sentiments pervade American society, from corporate boardrooms to the basement of the White House. In Moral Mazes, Robert Jackall offers an eye-opening account of how corporate managers think the world works, and of how big organizations shape moral (...) consciousnss. Based on extensive interviews with managers at every level of two industrial firms and of a large public relations agency, Moral Mazes takes the reader inside the intricate world of the corporation. It is a world where hard work does not necessarily lead to success, but where sharp talk, self-promotion, powerful patrons, and sheer luck might; where intense competition is masked by cheerfully bland public faces; where intentions are cloaked and frankness is simply one of many guises; and where words are always provisional and accountability often depends on the ability to outrun mistakes. In this topsy-turvy world, managers must bring often unforgiving technology and always difficult people together to make money, an uncompromising task demanding continual compromises with conventional verities. Moral issues are translated into practical concerns and into issues of public relations. Sooner or later, managrs ask themselves: How does one act in such a world and maintain a sense of personal integrity? Moral Mazes is a brilliant, sometimes disturbing, often wildly funny study of corporate thinking, decision-making, and morality. It is an analytical work of great importance, one filled with compelling real life stories of the men and women charged with running the business of America. It is a book for anyone interested in how big organizations actually function, or who is concerned with the current moral malaise in our public life. (shrink)
Behavioral scientists routinely publish broad claims about human psychology and behavior in the world's top journals based on samples drawn entirely from Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich, and Democratic (WEIRD) societies. Researchers assume that either there is little variation across human populations, or that these are as representative of the species as any other population. Are these assumptions justified? Here, our review of the comparative database from across the behavioral sciences suggests both that there is substantial variability in experimental results across (...) populations and that WEIRD subjects are particularly unusual compared with the rest of the species hence, there are no obvious a priori grounds for claiming that a particular behavioral phenomenon is universal based on sampling from a single subpopulation. Overall, these empirical patterns suggests that we need to be less cavalier in addressing questions of human nature on the basis of data drawn from this particularly thin, and rather unusual, slice of humanity. We close by proposing ways to structurally re-organize the behavioral sciences to best tackle these challenges. (shrink)
The world perceived by a person undergoing vision without inversion of the retinal image has traditionally been described as inverted. Drawing on the philosophical work of Maurice Merleau-Ponty and the empirical research of Hubert Dolezal, I argue that this description is more reflective of a representationist conception of vision than of actual visual experience. The world initially perceived in vision without inversion of the retinal image is better described as lacking in lived significance rather than inverted; vision without inversion of (...) the retinal image affects the very content of the perceived world, including, importantly, its expressions and conducts, and not merely the orientation of this content. Moreover, I argue that the enactive approach, rather than a representationist approach, is best able to account for the perception of the world, after prolonged vision without inversion of the retinal image, as both normal and upright, yet still different from the world seen previously. Finally, in their attention to the perception of other people’s facial expressions, I argue that Merleau-Ponty and Dolezal draw out the existential significance of the enactive approach. In encountering another person, the most pressing task is generally not to observe this person’s features but, instead, to engage with this person’s expressions. (shrink)
The following is a synopsis of the paper presented by Alvin Plantinga at the RATIO conference on The Meaning of Theism held in April 2005 at the University of Reading. The synopsis has been prepared by the Editor, with the author’s approval, from a handout provided by the author at the conference. The paper reflects on whether religious belief of a traditional Christian kind can be maintained consistently with accepting our modern scientific worldview. Many theologians, and also many scientists, maintain (...) that the idea of divine intervention is at odds with the framework of natural laws disclosed by science. The paper argues that this notion of a ”religion/science problem’ is misguided. When properly understood, neither the classical (Newtonian) picture of natural laws, nor the more recent quantum mechanical picture, rules out divine intervention. There is nothing in science, under either the old or the new picture, that conflicts with, or even calls in to question, special divine action, including miracles. (shrink)
Physicists and philosophers argue whether quantum theory has spiritual implications. The vast majority of opinions are at two extremes: Some contend that quantum theory has absolutely no spiritual implications whatsoever, whereas others assert that it forms the very basis of a modern spirituality and can be directly applied to the human condition. It is this article's contention that neither extreme is correct. Quantum theory does have spiritual implications - a fact that its founders intuited and its enemies, Einstein preeminent among (...) them, considered prima facie evidence of its as yet undiscovered flaws. Quantum theory has proven itself against all challenges more successfully than any other scientific theory, but its spiritual implications are extremely subtle. It provides a boundary to the materialistic, deterministic worldview and shows that there must be more to reality than that, but is inherently incapable of providing evidence as to the nature of what lies beyond that boundary. (shrink)
Contemporary society engenders complex and controversial contradictions as a consequence of the schism between the experience of a rapidly changing world and the incapability or the lack of an appropriate view of that world. This is why we should encourage the efforts towards a global thought of the world. Such a worldview can help us to understand and explain reality. However, we should be critical towards a mere theoretical approach of that world. A worldview should not be confined to the (...) abilities of our mind. In this article we propose to consider the body as an agent of our encounter with the world. By means of the philosophy of Michel Foucault and Maurice Merleau-Ponty, we will investigate the place and meaning of the body for our thought of the world. (shrink)
The multiverse hypothesis is growing in popularity among theistic philosophers because some view it as the preferable way to solve certain difficulties presented by theistic belief. In this paper, I am concerned specifically with its application to Rowe’s problem of no best world, which suggests that God’s existence is impossible given the fact that the world God actualizes must be unsurpassable, yet for any given possible world, there is one greater. I will argue that, as a solution to the problem (...) of no best world, the multiverse hypothesis fails. To defend my thesis, I will first define the multiverse hypothesis and articulate the problem of no best world and how the multiverse hypothesis is thought to solve it. I will then show that the solution fails by articulating two problems that have been mentioned, but not developed, in the literature—what I call the problem of no highest standard and the problem of multiverse cardinality. In each case, after articulating the problem, I will offer possible responses to the problem and show why those responses are inadequate. (shrink)
In 1990, when the Berlin Wall fell and the Cold War ended, economic and political analysts declared the world a safer place. But not political journalist Robert Harvey. The roar of international optimism only intensified the pangs of his geopolitical anxiety. In 1995, in The Return of the Strong, he warned Western democracies that the tides of economic globalization were sweeping the world toward a new crisis. Unfortunately, the attack on the World Trade Center in New York City on September (...) 11, 2001, justified Harvey's alarm. It also prompted him to revise and update his analysis of the dangers facing the free world. Global Disorder not only examines the precarious state of world affairs in the aftermath of 9/11 but also offers far-reaching proposals for the reform of global security. In light of the emergence of the United States as the world's first megapower, Harvey explores the sources of international tension that have increasingly commanded the attention of the West and lays out the perils inherent in the globalization of capitalism without political or economic control. He presents constructive measures that he believes the West—especially the United States—must undertake to restore stability around the world and truly ensure international security. (shrink)
In this paper, I argue that the spatiotemporalist approach way of modeling the fundamental constituents, structure, and composition of the world has taken a wrong turn. Spatiotemporalist approaches to fundamental structure take the fundamental nature of the world to be spatiotemporal: they take the category of spatiotemporal to be fundamental. I argue that the debates over the nature of the fundamental space in the physics show us that (i) the fact that it is conceivable that the manifest world could be (...) exactly as it appears to us, even though spatiotemporal entities are not fundamental, means that a central premise of spatiotemporalism, that we may assume, given ordinary experience, that the world is fundamentally spatiotemporal, is false. (ii) Spatiotemporalism must be seen as a contingent, a posteriori physical truth. Finally, (iii) I argue that a metaphysically deeper conclusion follows from the debate over the nature of the fundamental space. The debate in physics over which sort of space is the fundamental space suggests that physicists have discovered that, even if a spacetime is an actual constituent of the world-space category, there is a world-space category that is more fundamental than the category of spacetime. (shrink)
This paper aims to show that many criticisms of McDowell’s naturalism of second nature are based on what I call ‘the orthodox interpretation’ of McDowell’s naturalism. The orthodox interpretation is, however, a misinterpretation, which results from the fact that the phrase ‘the space of reasons’ is used equivocally by McDowell in Mind and World. Failing to distinguish two senses of ‘the space of reasons’, I argue that the orthodox interpretation renders McDowell’s naturalism inconsistent with McDowell’s Hegelian thesis that the conceptual (...) is unbounded. My interpretation saves McDowell from being inconsistent. However, the upshot of my interpretation is that what is really at work in McDowell’s diagnosis of the dualism between nature and reason is the Hegelian thesis, not the naturalism of second nature. (shrink)
Steven French articulates and defends the bold claim that there are no objects in the world. He draws on metaphysics and philosophy of science to argue for structural realism--the position that we live in a world of structures--and defends a form of eliminativism about objects that sets laws and symmetry principles at the heart of ontology.
Aesthetics is about sensations, experiences and emotions – but also about the rational mind that guides them. At the centre lies the feeling, sensing and thinking individual. The world unfolds from within oneself. No matter how remote a spot one chooses, it becomes the centre of the world; everyone travels with his own centre of the world, inevitably. He is, I am, the centrepoint.
Assuming minimal fine-individuation--that there are some necessarily equivalent intensional objects (e.g. propositions) that are nonetheless distinct objects, on standard actualist frameworks, the answer to our title question is "No". First I specify a fully cognitively accessible, purely qualitative maximal consistent state of affairs (MCS). (That there is an MCS that is either fully graspable or purely qualitative is in itself quite contrary to conventional dogma.) Then I identify another MCS, one necessarily equivalent to the first. It follows that there could (...) have been more than one obtaining MCS. I then argue that there is more than one obtaining MCS. So there is nothing answering to "the actual world", and the set of worlds is not the set of MCSs. I explore various patch-ups. Finally, I compare the actualist and modal realist notions of worlds, and I argue that even if the realist were right about concrete world ensembles, our reflections indicate that necessary truth is not truth in all worlds anyway, which undercuts the rationale for the realist's program. (shrink)
Within this working context, this paper exammes how philosophy is situated within the horizon of circulated knowledge. Using Alain Badiou's discussion about the fate of philosophy after Hegel, this paper highlights three distinct phenomena: the end of philosophy, the linguistic turn, and the suture of philosophy to other disciplines. This paper argues that these three signal a paradigm shift in philosophizing, namely, the shift of orientation from the metaphysical to the finite. After the discussion about contemporary philosophy, this paper argues (...) in the spirit of Badiou that philosophy's current form is incapable of addressing one of the most alarmmg crises in the world today, the crisis of subjectivity. (shrink)
From an African point of view, there is no social justice in the world today and, from that point of view, there may not be much difference between the African, African-American, Asian, or even Western perspectives. There may, however, be some difference in the reasons given in support of this perspective or, rather, conclusion. The African perspective is heavily influenced by events such as the trans-Atlantic slave trade, colonialism, and, more recently, by the report of South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation (...) Commission and the bombing of the American Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. The reason, in part, is that all of these events or reports seem to reinforce the belief, which I take to be contrary to the core principle of social justice, that African lives are either worthless or do not count as much as others. Further, they seem to have the effect of cheating Africans or making fools out of them, which, from a traditional Akan point of view, is a violation of the tenets of social justice. (shrink)
The problem of environment is the leading common problem of people living on Earth, the sky and soil of which have been polluted. I believe that pollution in a broad sense is the basis for all other important problems of this world. Man has polluted himself and Earth. In the former, which is called cultural pollution, man becomes alienated from other members of his own species and in the latter, which is called physical pollution, man becomes alienated from nature of (...) which he is a child. Both problems, which are based on alienation, show the deficiency in the implementation of the idea of the unity of man and nature, of the unity of mankind. The unity of humanity presupposes the consciousness of living in a common world and of the fact that man is a child of Earth. The possibility of and the necessity for such a consciousness to come into being in a physical-geographical space, which is metaphorically represented by Istanbul, in which different cultures managed to exist side by side throughout history, shows itself more clearly in the present day. Istanbul might be seen as the city which is probably most suitable for being seen as a metaphor for a world in which the idea of the unity of humanity may be realized in the future, because it is an entrance to Asia with its eastern side and to Europe with its western side and as such the point of intersection of the eastern and western cultures. It was a cosmopolitan city and still is. Having a look at the world from Istanbul as a metaphor is in a sense the same as having a look at Istanbul itself. (shrink)
The similarities between the concept of cosmopolitanism and the concept of the world-state are, in some regards, fairly intuitive. At the very least, the theme of universalism is often seen as common to both. The precise form of a universalized ethical or political order, however, is not expressly conceptually determined by either cosmopolitanism or the world-state; both are susceptible to pluralist interpretations. Further, we cannot assume that an ethical concern will either motivate the creation of, or become a central policy (...) issue to, a world-state, in the way that a concern for moral universalism—sometimes referred to as ‘moral minimalism’—is inseparable from the cosmopolitan project more generally. Nor does cosmopolitanism have a necessary political component in the manner in which the world-state does. Nevertheless, we may assume that any form of global government should have some minimal degree of responsibility and concern for the welfare of all world-citizens. This paper considers Michael Walzer’s analysis of moral minimalism, and posits that this concept could form a common normativebasis for both moral cosmopolitanism and the reform of existing institutions of global governance, as well as having possible applications for the drafting of just policies for a potential world-state. (shrink)
This paper focuses on Italian philosopher’s Paolo Virno concept of public intellect. He starts from the analysis of emotions and dispositions as they appear in Martin Heidegger’s work Being and Time, and he undertakes na criticism of Heideggerian distinction between fear and anguish/anxiety. Virno argues that, incontemporary world, this distinction is becoming increasingly blurred, insofar as the so-called ‘substantial communities’ tend to disintegrate and human beings become more exposed to the world as such. This exposition to the world makes one (...) feel any concrete fearful situation as rather an anxiety-ridden situation whereuncertainty and endangerment reigns to its utmost. As a rather spontaneous response to this insecurity of ‘not’feeling-at-home’, Virno sees the emergence of the so-called ‘public intellect’ which contains some elementary linguistic structures that appear as collective. Virno sees public intellect as an outcome of ‘not-feeling-at-home’ that, to some degree, forces people to become thinkers as they are made strangers to this world. (shrink)
Wittgenstein’s early philosophy of language is shaped by his attention to Parmenides’ paradox of false propositions and the problem of the unity of the proposition. Wittgenstein (dis)solves these two (pseudo)problems through his discussion of the “internal pictorial relation” between propositions and states of affairs, which is an artifact of language and the world being “constructed according to a common logical pattern” (TLP 4.014). After examining these issues, I argue that this treatment points to a further problem, namely, the question of (...) the agency responsible for this construction, and in the paper I briefly explore this byconsidering a parallel set of problems as they arise for Kant. For Kant, the question is what guarantees that nature conforms to our concepts and their logic, which he answers through his account of the normative authority we exercise in our cognitive activities. Wittgenstein, I argue, faces a parallel question, which he fails to face in his early work, and only begins to address in his later work on rule-following. (shrink)
The majority of world religions have developed in the course of overcoming tribal and clan identity. The idea of "One God" carries the implication, overtly or not, of uniting mankind on basis of religious belief. The rise of world religions was associated with rise of huge empires and states where various ethnic groups coexisted, not only on the basis of force alone, but also on basis of common religious belief and value systems imposed by religious ideology. Governing polyethnic territories, developments (...) in economy and trade and consistent humanization of human spirit resulted in the development of common human values.Mankind started perceiving itself as a single species sharing a common world history. The concept of 'mankind' came to unite people irrespective of their race, religion and nationality. Objective of our study was cross-confessional investigation of value systems in religions spread in Russia and establishing to what extent they are spiritually acceptable to Russians. We used the semantic space technique for the analysis of religious mentalities. (shrink)
The crisis of our times is that we have science without wisdom. All our current global problems have arisen as a result. Learning how to become wiser has become, not a luxury, but a necessity. The key is to learn from the success of science. We need to learn from scientific progress how to achieve social progress towards a wiser world. This is an old idea that goes back to the French Enlightenment. However, in developing the idea, the philosophes of (...) the Enlightenment made serious blunders, and it is their botched version of the Enlightenment programme that was developed throughout the 19th century, and built into academia all over the world in the early 20th century with the creation of the social sciences. As a matter of great urgency, we need to put right the intellectual/institutional blunders we have inherited from the 18th century. We need to bring about a revolution in academic inquiry so that the basic task becomes, not just to acquire knowledge, but to help humanity learn how to make progress towards a wiser world. (shrink)