How much violence can a society expect its members to accept? A comparison between the language theories of Julia Kristeva and Jacques Lacan is the starting point for answering this question. A look at the early stages of language acquisition exposes the sacrificial logic of patriarchal society. Are those forces that restrict the individual to be conceived in a martial imagery of castration or is it possible that an existing society critically questions those points of socialization that leave their (...) members in a state of homelessness? The following considerations should help to distinguish between unavoidable and avoidable forms of violence. (shrink)
Franz Brentano is recognised as one of the most important philosophers of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. This work, first published in English in 1988, besides being an important contribution to metaphysics in its own right, has considerable historical importance through its influence on Husserl’s views on internal time consciousness. The work is preceded by a long introduction by Stephan Körner in collaboration with Brentano’s literary executor Roderick Chisholm. It is translated by Barry Smith.
Georges Canguilhem, A Vital Rationalist: Selected Writings from Georges Canguilhem, edited by François Delaporte and translated by Arthur Goldhammer. New York: Zone Books, 1994. Pp. 481. ISBN 0-942299-72-8. £24.25, $36.25.
The Significance of the New Logic, by QuineW. V.. Edited and translated by CarnielliWalter, Janssen-LauretFrederique, and PickeringWilliam. Introduced by the editors with a scholarly essay by Janssen-LauretFrederique. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Pp. xxv + 217.
Edmund Husserl, The Basic Problems of Phenomenology: From the Lectures, Winter Semester, 1910--1911. Translated by Ingo Farin and James G. Hart Content Type Journal Article DOI 10.1007/s10743-010-9073-7 Authors Colin J. Hahn, Department of Philosophy, Marquette University, Milwaukee, WI 53201-1881, USA Journal Husserl Studies Online ISSN 1572-8501 Print ISSN 0167-9848 Journal Volume Volume 26 Journal Issue Volume 26, Number 3.
Review of Avital Wohlman, Al-Ghazali, Averroës and the Interpretation of the Qur'an: Common Sense and Philosophy in Islam, Translated by David Burrell Content Type Journal Article Pages 637-639 DOI 10.1007/s11841-010-0207-3 Authors Scott Girdner, Western Kentucky University, 1906 college Heights Blvd., Bowling Green, KY 42101, USA Journal Sophia Online ISSN 1873-930X Print ISSN 0038-1527 Journal Volume Volume 49 Journal Issue Volume 49, Number 4.
Huang, Chun-chieh, Konfuzianismus: Kontinuität und Entwicklung: Studien zur chinesischen Geistesgeschichte (Confucianism: Continuity and Development: Studies in Chinese Intellectual History), Edited and translated by Stephan Schmidt Content Type Journal Article DOI 10.1007/s11712-010-9191-0 Authors Heiner Roetz, Faculty of East Asian Studies, Ruhr University, 44780 Bochum, Germany Journal Dao Online ISSN 1569-7274 Print ISSN 1540-3009 Journal Volume Volume 9 Journal Issue Volume 9, Number 4.
This paper has been translated from the French by Cosmin Toma. It focuses on Jacques Derrida's very last lecture, given in Rio de Janeiro, on the 16th of August 2004, which Derrida drew from his ‘Le parjure et le pardon’ seminar held at the École des hautes études en sciences sociales, in Paris, from 1997 to 1999. In reference to this final lecture in which Derrida deals with ‘forgiveness,’ ‘truth’, ‘reconciliation’, ‘testimony’ and ‘genre’, the paper also takes up the (...) question of justice as well as of what he calls the ‘worst violence’ via testimonial writings by Sarah Kofman and Antjie Krog so as to rethink forgiveness. (shrink)
About Plato's Laws, Aristotle rather uninspiringly wrote, "Most of the Laws consists, in fact, of laws, and [Plato] has said little about the constitution. He wishes to make it more generally attainable [κοινοτέραν] by actual city-states, yet he gradually turns it back towards the Republic". Julia Annas's new volume seeks to counter such dismissive interpretations of Plato's Laws. Rather than view the work as Plato's final written dialogue, written by a crabby, old, pessimistic author, she argues that "the Laws (...) presents us with a remarkably fresh and original approach to social and political issues", one grounded in views about law-abidingness and cosmic law which is novel in the... (shrink)
Jiang, Wenye 江文也, A Discourse on Confucius’s Music 孔子的樂論. Translated from 上代支那正樂考—孔子の音樂論 by Y ang Rubin 楊儒賓 Content Type Journal Article DOI 10.1007/s11712-009-9148-3 Authors Huaiyu Wang, Georgia College & State University Department of History, Geography, and Philosophy Campus Box 47 Milledgeville GA 31061 USA Journal Dao Online ISSN 1569-7274 Print ISSN 1540-3009 Journal Volume Volume 9 Journal Issue Volume 9, Number 1.
This book is a critical introduction for English-speaking philosophers to the main lines of thought of José Gaos, an outstanding twentieth-century philosopher who was active first in Spain and then in Mexico. The study traces philosophical methods and cultural themes in Spain, the European continent in general, and Latin America. The author skillfully applies phenomenology to the deep questions raised by Gaos concerning being, time, language, and meaning. Peter Cocozzella has painstakingly translated this ground-breaking study from Italian. Myra Moss (...) and Giovanni Gullace have added useful introductory material. A comprehensive bibliography is included.Values in Italian Philosophy offers the English-speaking world outstanding works by classic and contemporary Italian thinkers as well as books on Italian philosophy. (shrink)
A review of Francoise Laruelle's General Theory of Victims, which places Laruelle's theory in the context of post-colonial theories of the subaltern subject after Gayatri Spivak and Edward Said. The review questions whether Laruelle's General Theory of Victims really allows the so-called victims to speak for themselves, or simply represents another attempt by Western (French?) intellectuals to speak to/through the victims, for their own political and theoretical purposes.
The Prague Philosopher Bernard Bolzano has long been admired for his groundbreaking work in mathematics: his rigorous proofs of fundamental theorems in analysis, his construction of a continuous, nowhere-differentiable function, his investigations of the infinite, and his anticipations of Cantor's set theory. He made equally outstanding contributions in philosophy, most notably in logic and methodology. One of the greatest mathematician-philosophers since Leibniz, Bolzano is now widely recognised as a major figure of nineteenth-century philosophy.Praised by Husserl as “one of the greatest (...) logicians of all times,” he has also been recognised by Michael Dummett as one of the first modern analytic philosophers and by Alberto Coffa as the founder of the “semantic tradition.” This volume contains English translations of the essay “On the Mathematical Method,” a concise introduction to Bolzano’s logic and philosophy of mathematics, as well as substantial selections from his correspondence with Franz Exner, Professor of Philosophy at the Charles University in Prague in the 1830s and 40s. It will be of interest to students of Austrian philosophy, the development of analytic philosophy, the philosophy of language, and the history and philosophy of logic and mathematics. (shrink)
Girolamo Saccheri (1667--1733) was an Italian Jesuit priest, scholastic philosopher, and mathematician. He earned a permanent place in the history of mathematics by discovering and rigorously deducing an elaborate chain of consequences of an axiom-set for what is now known as hyperbolic (or Lobachevskian) plane geometry. Reviewer's remarks: (1) On two pages of this book Saccheri refers to his previous and equally original book Logica demonstrativa (Turin, 1697) to which 14 of the 16 pages of the editor's "Introduction" are devoted. (...) At the time of the first edition, 1920, the editor was apparently not acquainted with the secondary literature on Logica demonstrativa which continued to grow in the period preceding the second edition \ref[see D. J. Struik, in Dictionary of scientific biography, Vol. 12, 55--57, Scribner's, New York, 1975]. Of special interest in this connection is a series of three articles by A. F. Emch [Scripta Math. 3 (1935), 51--60; Zbl 10, 386; ibid. 3 (1935), 143--152; Zbl 11, 193; ibid. 3 (1935), 221--333; Zbl 12, 98]. (2) It seems curious that modern writers believe that demonstration of the "nondeducibility" of the parallel postulate vindicates Euclid whereas at first Saccheri seems to have thought that demonstration of its "deducibility" is what would vindicate Euclid. Saccheri is perfectly clear in his commitment to the ancient (and now discredited) view that it is wrong to take as an "axiom" a proposition which is not a "primal verity", which is not "known through itself". So it would seem that Saccheri should think that he was convicting Euclid of error by deducing the parallel postulate. The resolution of this confusion is that Saccheri thought that he had proved, not merely that the parallel postulate was true, but that it was a "primal verity" and, thus, that Euclid was correct in taking it as an "axiom". As implausible as this claim about Saccheri may seem, the passage on p. 237, lines 3--15, seems to admit of no other interpretation. Indeed, Emch takes it this way. (3) As has been noted by many others, Saccheri was fascinated, if not obsessed, by what may be called "reflexive indirect deductions", indirect deductions which show that a conclusion follows from given premises by a chain of reasoning beginning with the given premises augmented by the denial of the desired conclusion and ending with the conclusion itself. It is obvious, of course, that this is simply a species of ordinary indirect deduction; a conclusion follows from given premises if a contradiction is deducible from those given premises augmented by the denial of the conclusion---and it is immaterial whether the contradiction involves one of the premises, the denial of the conclusion, or even, as often happens, intermediate propositions distinct from the given premises and the denial of the conclusion. Saccheri seemed to think that a proposition proved in this way was deduced from its own denial and, thus, that its denial was self-contradictory (p. 207). Inference from this mistake to the idea that propositions proved in this way are "primal verities" would involve yet another confusion. The reviewer gratefully acknowledges extensive communication with his former doctoral students J. Gasser and M. Scanlan. ADDED 14 March 14, 2015: (1) Wikipedia reports that many of Saccheri's ideas have a precedent in the 11th Century Persian polymath Omar Khayyám's Discussion of Difficulties in Euclid, a fact ignored in most Western sources until recently. It is unclear whether Saccheri had access to this work in translation, or developed his ideas independently. (2) This book is another exemplification of the huge difference between indirect deduction and indirect reduction. Indirect deduction requires making an assumption that is inconsistent with the premises previously adopted. This means that the reasoner must perform a certain mental act of assuming a certain proposition. It case the premises are all known truths, indirect deduction—which would then be indirect proof—requires the reasoner to assume a falsehood. This fact has been noted by several prominent mathematicians including Hardy, Hilbert, and Tarski. Indirect reduction requires no new assumption. Indirect reduction is simply a transformation of an argument in one form into another argument in a different form. In an indirect reduction one proposition in the old premise set is replaced by the contradictory opposite of the old conclusion and the new conclusion becomes the contradictory opposite of the replaced premise. Roughly and schematically, P,Q/R becomes P,~R/~Q or ~R, Q/~P. Saccheri’s work involved indirect deduction not indirect reduction. (3) The distinction between indirect deduction and indirect reduction has largely slipped through the cracks, the cracks between medieval-oriented logic and modern-oriented logic. The medievalists have a heavy investment in reduction and, though they have heard of deduction, they think that deduction is a form of reduction, or vice versa, or in some cases they think that the word ‘deduction’ is the modern way of referring to reduction. The modernists have no interest in reduction, i.e. in the process of transforming one argument into another having exactly the same number of premises. Modern logicians, like Aristotle, are concerned with deducing a single proposition from a set of propositions. Some focus on deducing a single proposition from the null set—something difficult to relate to reduction. (shrink)
In October 1984, Bruno Huisman stated with regards to Jean Cavaillès, ‘Let us be honest, or at least realistic: today, one can be a professor of philosophy without ever having read a single line of Cavaillès. Often invoked, sometimes quoted, the oeuvre of Cavaillès is little attended for itself’ (Huisman 1984). As for Albert Lautman, it would seem that the situation is even more extreme. In 1994, the publisher Hermann, under the impetus of Bruno Huisman and George Canguilhem, collected almost (...) the totality of the Jean Cavaillès papers in one volume (Oeuvres complètes de philosophie des sciences (Cavaillès 1994)). But, the Essai sur l’unité des mathématiques et divers écrits (Lautman 1977), published by the Union générale d’Éditions in 1977, had all but disappeared by the early 1980s and yet was never republished! This will remain one of the great indignities of French publishing, for as Jean Petitot rightly affirms: ‘Regarded as too speculative, in spite of his exceptional mathematical scholarship and his close connection with Hilbertian axiomatic structuralism, his mathematical philosophy has, until now, been devoid of any particular attention …. We would like to state clearly from the start, Albert Lautman represents, in our view, without exaggeration, one of the most inspired philosophers of this century’ (Petitot 1987, 79-80). (shrink)
In Leibniz on Causation and Agency, Julia Jorati provides an account of Leibniz’s mature views regarding causation, freedom, and moral responsibility. Few monographs treat these central topics in Leibniz in such a sustained and helpful way. The focus on appetition and action is most welcome, and the book is well written and usually well argued. Even on the few occasions when Jorati’s arguments are unpersuasive, the theoretical benefits of her readings are clear, and the work displays an impressive command (...) of the primary and secondary literature.The first three chapters treat monads, spontaneity, and teleology, respectively. Jorati gives useful accounts of the motivations for Leibniz’s bold theses. A clear strength... (shrink)
Spinoza, according to common opinion, could only have written lamentable platitudes on sexual love, narrowly inspired by the prejudices of his time and without serious philosophical foundation: that for which, in the past, he has been congratulated,1 he is now reproached; or, at best, excused. He would even have, some believe to be able to add, increased the pervading puritanism: sexuality, as such, would give rise in him to a deep repulsion and women would horrify him. The second of these (...) two assertions, if one sticks to the manifest content of the texts, actually rests on nothing; if one calls upon their latent content, it would require, to be established with a minimum of rigor, a study of which we will not dispute the theoretical possibility, but which, in fact, has not yet been undertaken. The first, on the other hand, has all the appearance of the obvious: that men love women for their beauty and do not support their attachment to someone else,2 that they desire them more the more admirers they have,3 that the jealousy of the male is exacerbated by the representation of the pudenda and of the excrementa of his rival,4 that sensual attachment is unstable and conflictual,5 that it often turns to obsession,6 that Adam loved Eve because of their similarity of nature,7 that he who remains insensitive to the generosity of a courtesan does not offend by ingratitude,8 that only free men and free women can marry one another and only if they want children,9 well, it seems, that isn’t anything sensational; now these eight passages, if the two definitions of the libido are added to them,10 are the only, if I’m not mistaken, that Spinoza expressly devoted to the question! He would therefore, apparently, only have drawn up a report of deficiency. (shrink)
In order to address to the relation between philosophy and mathematics it is first necessary to distinguish the grand style and the little style. The little style painstakingly constructs mathematics as the object for philosophical scrutiny. It is called the little style for a precise reason, because it assigns mathematics to the subservient role of that which supports the definition and perpetuation of a philosophical specialisation. This specialisation is called the ‘philosophy of mathematics’, where the ‘of’ is objective. The philosophy (...) of mathematics can in turn be inscribed under the area of specialisation that supports the name ‘epistemology and history of science’, an area to which corresponds a specialised bureaucracy in the academic authorities and committees whose role it is to manage the personnel of researchers and teachers. But in philosophy, specialisation is invariably the means by which the little style insinuates itself. In Lacan terms, this occurs through the collapse of the discourse of the Master, which is rooted in the signifier of the same name, the S1 that gives rise to a signifying chain, onto the discourse of the University, that perpetual commentary which adequately represents the second moment of all speech, that is, the S2 which only exists by making the Master disappear under the commentary which exhausts it. The little style of the philosophy of mathematics, and of its epistemology, strives for such a disappearance of the ontological sovereignty of mathematics, its instituting aristocratism, its unrivalled mastery, by confining its dramatic and almost incomprehensible existence to a generally dusty compartment of academic specialisation. (shrink)
Posthumanism reformulates the idea of human agency and its relationship with the natural world. By shunning dualisms, it blurs the man-made boundaries between the human and the animal in the natural and technological world. As a rejection of universality, posthumanist studies aim to rearrange the way we view societal values through a more intersectional approach, without completely divorcing itself from the tradition of humanism. Instead, it seeks to expand the way the human interacts with the wider world, and in the (...) case of The Vegetarian, the title character Yeong-hye’s actions may be part of a moral imperative. (shrink)
This article was first published as “Notation atomique et hypothèses atomistiques”, Revue des questions scientifiques, 31 (1892), 391– 457. It is the second of a series of articles Duhem was to publish in the Catholic journal Revue des questions scientifiques, in which he presents his understanding of what can justifiably be said about the structure of chemical substances as captured by chemical formulas. The argument unfolds following a broadly historical development of events throughout the course of the century which was (...) coming to a close as he wrote. He later reflected in his classic The Aim and Structure of Physical Theories – based in large part on articles which had appeared in the Revue – that “To give the history of a physical principle is at the same time to make a logical analysis of it” (p. 269). Logical analysis clearly dominates in the present article. The historical context was elaborated considerably in a later work, Le mixte et la combinaison chimique: Essai sur l’évolution d’une idée, which did not lead him to retract any aspect of his earlier position but provided a broader setting in which it could be elaborated. In particular, the Aristotelian influence, which is only hinted at here in some of the formulations (see especially the beginning of section VII) without mentioning Aristotle by name, is explicit in the later work, making Duhem’s own ontological conception a little clearer. A discussion of stereoisomerism, conspicuously absent in the present article, is also integrated into the later book. The same holds for Avogadro’s hypothesis. (shrink)
At a central point in his much-discussed book Real Presences, George Steiner writes of the “mountebank’s virtuosity... of a Hitler,” that realises “a counter-logos which conceptualizes and then enacts the deconstruction of the human.” It was clear to Steiner’s American readers what was meant by this transposition of the term ‘deconstruction’ from the field of aesthetics and philosophy, of literary and cultural criticism, to the context of political and ideological struggle against fascism and totalitarianism in general. Steiner discusses this in (...) another context, but again with all the pathos of confession at his disposal: “I believe that the eclipse of the humanities, in their primary sense and presentness, in today’s culture and society, implicates that of the human.” This creed closes Steiner’s discussion of the “liberals” who are treated with contempt because they preach tolerance in the face of the triumphal procession of deconstruction in the humanities. According to Steiner, such a policy of appeasement once again misjudges the degree of threat to which our social order is exposed: what starts in the humanities ends in society as the nihilistic corruption of binding human values. With the establishment of deconstruction in literary studies at elite American universities, the Occident succumbs to the powers of disintegration and ‘brutalization’ for the second time in the twentieth century—Yale of the seventies and eighties repeats Munich of 1938. (shrink)
Some years ago I started to write a book on virtue ethics, in which I tried to meet early criticisms of what was then a new way of doing ethics. The book continued to be unsatisfactory, and I finally abandoned it, realizing that I needed to get clear about virtue before producing a defence of virtue ethics. This need should have been obvious, especially since I frequently teach Platonic dialogues where Socrates gets people to see that they are doing what (...) I was doing, namely developing ideas about something without first examining what it is. The need became even more obvious as the field rapidly expanded with the production of Humean, Nietschean, Kantian and consequentialist kinds of virtue ethics. Within the field of neo-Aristotelian ethics itself it became clear that different aspects can be stressed: the importance of practical wisdom can be developed, for example, without defending a naturalistic account of the relation of virtue to happiness.I finally wrote a book to explore and d .. (shrink)
If the allusive stratagems can claim to define a new type of systematicity, it is because they give access to a space where the singularity, the diagram and the metaphor may interlace, to penetrate further into the physico-mathematic intuition and the discipline of the gestures which precede and accompany ‘formalisation’. This interlacing is an operation where each component backs up the others: without the diagram, the metaphor would only be a short-lived fulguration because it would be unable to operate: without (...) the metaphor, the diagram would only be a frozen icon, unable to jump over its bold features which represent the images of an already acquired knowledge; without the subversion of the functional by the singular, nothing would come to oppose the force of habit. (shrink)
One of the many virtues of Martin Seel’s Aesthetics of Appearing is that it lays its cards on the table at the very outset. The final three chapters consist in a series of complex digressions from the main discussion: one on the aesthetic significance of ‘resonating’(p. 139), one organized around the metaphysics of pictures, and one charged with defending the implausible claim that the artistic representation of violence is uniquely capable of revealing ‘what is violent about violence’ (p. 191). But (...) the thesis of the book and its main arguments are stated in the preface, preceding even the acknowledgements. Seel writes, ‘[t]his book makes the proposal of having aesthetics begin not with concepts of being‐so or semblance but with a concept of appearing’ (p. xi). This might initially seem opaque, as though reducing aesthetics to a subtlety involving the meaning of the Greek word phainomai, but Seel immediately clarifies the stance that he wishes to advance. Seel’s position is that aesthetics is distinguished by attention to the indeterminable particularity of sensory experience; aesthetics so considered comprises the philosophy of art as well as non‐art experience; aesthetic experience is a legitimate mode of world‐encounter by virtue of its immediacy or ‘presence’ (p. xi)(Gegenwart – i.e., a contrary of ‘past’, rather than of ‘absence’); and because the presence of our experience reveals the presence of our lives, aesthetic experience constitutes an important form of self‐knowledge. The subsequent chapters are devoted to explicating this position in extraordinary detail. Seel’s position depends on a somewhat implicit account of subjectivity. In this account, what we fundamentally perceive, conditioned by conceptual activity but transcending any possible determinate content, is a ‘play’ of sensuous qualities (p. 47). Since it is ‘unfettered’ (p. 51) by theoretical interest, this form of perception is far qualitatively richer than our more structured experiences: here one is ‘able to perceive.... (shrink)
It is possible today to observe in hindsight the epistemological landscape of the twentieth century, and the work of Albert Lautman in mathematical philosophy appears as a profound turning point, opening to a true under- standing of creativity in mathematics and its relation with the real. Little understood in its time or even today, Lautman’s work explores the difficult but exciting intersection where modern mathematics, advanced mathe- matical invention, the structural or unitary relations of mathematical knowledge and, finally, the metaphysical (...) and dialectical tensions underly- ing mathematical activity converge. Well beyond other better-known names in philosophy of mathematics – who are focused above all on ques- tions concerning the logical problem of foundations, important but frag- mentary studies in the vast panorama of modern mathematics – Lautman broaches the emergence of inventiveness in the very broad spectrum of the development of the mathematical real. Group theory, differential geome- try, algebraic topology, differential equations, functional analysis, functions of complex variables and number fields are some of the domains of his preferred examples. He detects in them methods of construction, structu- ration and unification of modern mathematics that he connects to a precise Platonic interpretation in which powerful pairs of ideas serve to organize the edifice of effective mathematics. (shrink)
Sebbah’s noteworthy book is perhaps the first sustained inquiry into the relationship between three thinkers in the French phenomenological tradition, two of whom are well known in the Anglophone world (Levinas, Derrida) and one of whom (Henry) is gradually better understood by English-speaking audiences. That all three are arrayed together in this study makes it a pioneering enterprise and one that allows the English reader to apprise the worthiness of Henry’s association with his better-known compatriots.The strongest and most extensive portions (...) of the text focus on the three named figures in its subtitle, and in Part I Sebbah justifies his focus on these three in terms of a “family resemblance” (6–7) that they bear: Each in his own way practices phenomenology in the mode of excess, an excess that not only emerges in the style of each man’s writing but more fundamentally betrays a testing “of the limit, the limit through whose transgression alone excess can be what it is” (4). Rather. (shrink)
There is a phenomenon which has from of old and in a peculiar degree attracted the attention of social philosophers and practical economists, the fact of certain commodities (these being in advanced civilizations coined pieces of gold and silver, together subsequently with documents representing those coins) becoming universally acceptable media of exchange. It is obvious even to the most ordinary intelligence, that a commodity should be given up by its owner in exchange for another more useful to him. But that (...) every economic unit in a nation should be ready to exchange his goods for little metal disks apparently useless as such, or for documents representing the latter, is a procedure so opposed to the ordinary course of things, that we cannot well wonder if even a distinguished thinker like Savigny finds it downright 'mysterious.' It must not be supposed that the form of coin, or document, employed as current money, constitutes the enigma in this phenomenon. We may look away from these forms and go back to earlier stages of economic development, or indeed to what still obtains in countries here and there, where we find the precious metals in a uncoined state serving as the medium of exchange, and even certain other commodities, cattle, skins, cubes of tea, slabs of salt, cowrie shells, etc.; still we are confronted by this phenomenon, still we have to explain why it is that the economic man is ready to accept a certain kind of commodity, even if he does not need it, or if his need of it is already supplied, in exchange for all the goods he has brought to market, while it is none the less what he needs that he consults in the first instance, with respect to the goods he intends to acquire in the course of his transactions. And hence there runs, from the first essays of reflective contemplation of a social phenomena down to our own times, an uninterrupted chain of disquisitions upon the nature and specific qualities of money in its relation to all that constitutes traffic.. (shrink)