In this paper I would like to give a brief account of self-creation in Nietzsche’s work, by employing some of Michel Foucault’s ideas. For Nietzsche, life should be lived like “a work of art without an author”. This phrase may sound at first strange, but it makes sense if we take a look at Foucault analysis on authorship. The author is not something given, a transcendental and external agent, but something that emerges in the process of writing. In the same (...) way, the subject is not an autonomous and absolute entity, but something that emerges in the process of subjectivation. If we understand this, then we can move forward to investigate some of Nietzsche’s most famous, yet intriguing concepts. Assuming this new account of the subject, ideas like “become who you are”, the dichotomy “master/slave”, “eternal recurrence of the same” etc. will bear new meanings that can give new answers to the old question: “How should one live?”. (shrink)
The brain displays both the anatomical features of a vast amount of interconnected topological mappings as well as the functional features of a nonlinear, metastable system at the edge of chaos, equipped with a phase space where mental random walks tend towards lower energetic basins. Nevertheless, with the exception of some advanced neuro-anatomic descriptions and present-day connectomic research, very few studies have been addressing the topological path of a brain embedded or embodied in its external and internal environment. Herein, by (...) using new formal tools derived from algebraic topology, we provide an account of the metastable brain, based on the neuro-scientific model of Operational Architectonics of brain-mind functioning. We introduce a “topodynamic” description that shows how the relationships among the countless intertwined spatio-temporal levels of brain functioning can be assessed in terms of projections and mappings that take place on abstract structures, equipped with different dimensions, curvatures and energetic constraints. Such a topodynamical approach, apart from providing a biologically plausible model of brain function that can be operationalized, is also able to tackle the issue of a long-standing dichotomy: it throws indeed a bridge between the subjective, immediate datum of the naïve complex of sensations and mentations and the objective, quantitative, data extracted from experimental neuro-scientific procedures. Importantly, it opens the door to a series of new predictions and future directions of advancement for neuroscientific research. (shrink)
Physical and biological measurements might display range values extending towards infinite. The occurrence of infinity in equations, such as the black hole singularities, is a troublesome issue that causes many theories to break down when assessing extreme events. Different methods, such as re-normalization, have been proposed to avoid detrimental infinity. Here a novel technique is proposed, based on geometrical considerations and the Alexander Horned sphere, that permits to undermine infinity in physical and biophysical equations. In this unconventional approach, a continuous (...) monodimensional line becomes an assembly of countless bidimensional lines that superimpose in quantifiable knots and bifurcations. In other words, we may state that Achilles leaves the straight line and overtakes the turtle. (shrink)
The discrepancy between syntax and semantics is a painstaking issue that hinders a better comprehension of the underlying neuronal processes in the human brain. In order to tackle the issue, we at first describe a striking correlation between Wittgenstein's Tractatus, that assesses the syntactic relationships between language and world, and Perlovsky's joint language-cognitive computational model, that assesses the semantic relationships between emotions and “knowledge instinct”. Once established a correlation between a purely logical approach to the language and computable psychological activities, (...) we aim to find the neural correlates of syntax and semantics in the human brain. Starting from topological arguments, we suggest that the semantic properties of a proposition are processed in higher brain's functional dimensions than the syntactic ones. In a fully reversible process, the syntactic elements embedded in Broca's area project into multiple scattered semantic cortical zones. The presence of higher functional dimensions gives rise to the increase in informational content that takes place in semantic expressions. Therefore, diverse features of human language and cognitive world can be assessed in terms of both the logic armor described by the Tractatus, and the neurocomputational techniques at hand. One of our motivations is to build a neuro-computational framework able to provide a feasible explanation for brain's semantic processing, in preparation for novel computers with nodes built into higher dimensions. (shrink)
The author discusses in detail the basic issues related to the practice of philosophical discussions with children. He identifies and problematizes the different methods or modalities for doing philosophy with children currently practised throughout the world. He presents a series of pedagogic and didactic issues and puts forward some proposals and directions for the future that might allow us to facilitate philosophy-oriented discussions with children.
En el 2008 se cumplen 25 años de la aparición de Metahistoria: la imaginación histórica en el siglo XIX, punto de inflexión para la filosofía de la historia en tanto se aviene a su giro lingüístico. 2008 también es el 80 aniversario del propio Hayden White, ocasión que ha convocado a los filósofos d..
The place that Arthur Danto gives to history, as constitutive to as and our world, as well as a discipline able to produce knowledge of the past, reach its cenit with his philosophy of art. In “the End of Art”, Danto announces an end of the history of the search of the philosophical definition of art and the beginning of the era of pluralism. It is in this account where essencialism and historicism are combined in a way that estimules a (...) heat debate that continues today. In this paper, I give a reconstruction of Danto’s Philosophy of historical language in order to show why this combination is possible and which compromises that should be assumed by an authentic historicism. (shrink)
Although the differences between Spinoza and Nietzsche are crucial, there are several aspects on which one can trace a relevant set of similarities between the two authors. The refutation of teleology, transcendence and free will, together with the consequent embracement of fatality, the pursuit of joy, and the particular emphasis on affectivity are just a few of the resemblances that can be drawn between Spinoza and Nietzsche. This paper is focused only on the last aspect mentioned above. Both Spinoza and (...) Nietzsche developed an account of immanent pursuit of joy, which can be derived from a particular understanding of affects. The two philosophers tried to create a peculiar bridge between knowledge and affectivity, which meant a significant departure from their previous philosophical tradition, and which gave them an idiosyncratic place in the entire picture of modern thought. (shrink)
En "La evidencia de la experiencia" Joan Scott lanzó un desafío a las concepciones que sustentan las políticas de la identidad, de tal profundidad y agudeza, que llega incluso a cuestionar la razonabilidad de sus reclamos y la eficacia de tal política. Las reacciones no tardaron en llegar, generando múltiples intentos de responder al desafío. Se destacan entre ellos el programa Realista pospositivista de Satya Mohanty, cuyo objetivo primordial será ofrecer una consideración alternativa de la noción de experiencia subjetiva -antiesencialista (...) pero se opondrá a la disolución deconstructiva del posmodernismo. En el presente trabajo, analizaré cómo una u otra consideración puede responder más eficazmente a reclamos de legitimidad de identidades marginalizadas. In "The Evidence of Experience" Joan Scott challenged the philosophical accounts that support identity politics based on the fact that this tradition puts the razonability of the claims and the efficiency of this policies at risk. Multiples responses have been given to this argument, but the most profound and sharpest critiques were introduced by the Realist Post-positivist Programme. This theory, developed by Satya Mohanty and et al, tries to give an alternative consideration of the notion of "subjective experience"-antiessencialist but the opposite to the posmodernist deconstructive dissolution of this term. In this paper I analyze both positions and I will try to give a consideration on my own in order to offer a better and more efficient response to identity-claims. (shrink)
Professeur à la Sorbonne, où il accomplit, selon le mot de Levinas, « une activité extra-universitaire et même anti-universitaire nécessaire à une grande culture », Jean Wahl sut se distinguer par sa prescience des nouvelles orientations de la philosophie française dans sapropre insistance à réclamer les droits d’une philosophie du concret et du vécu, par opposition à ce qui lui apparaissait comme l’excès de l’abstraction et de totalisation de la pensée hégélienne. Le présent ouvrage, dans lequel Merleau-Ponty puisa une partie (...) de l’inspiration initiale de sa philosophie, propose une redécouverte de ce grand « passeur » dont l’audace modifia profondément le paysage philosophique français. (shrink)
Resumo: Neste trabalho pretende-se apresentar algumas reflexões sobre a trajetória que leva Rousseau não apenas a aproximar-se à botânica, mas, sobretudo, a definir seu estatuto epistemológico, bem como metodológico. Nesse sentido, propõe-se mostrar em que termos – no interior do amplo panorama intelectual rousseauniano oriundo dos escritos e das cartas dos últimos três lustros da vida do filosofo genebrino – a botânica assume, para Rousseau, uma peculiar autônoma fisionomia e, ao mesmo tempo, torna-se paradigma para a própria filosofia. Rousseau and (...) botany: a promenade between scientific observation and contemplation: This paper aims to present some reflections about the trajectory that leads Rousseau not only to approach botany, but, above all, to define its epistemological as well as methodological status. In this sense, we propose to show in what terms – in the broad Rousseauan intellectual panorama related to writings and letters of the last sixteen years of the Genevan philosopher’s life – botany assumes for Rousseau a peculiar autonomous physiognomy and, at the same time, becomes a paradigm for philosophy itself.Keywords: Rousseau; botany; epistemology; promenade; observation; herborization. (shrink)
The main theme of this article is the phenomenality. Jan Patočka’s asubjective phenomenology distinguishes itself by the description of the plan of phenomenality, where beings can appear and that is independent from everything which appears in it. Only by an universalization of the phenomenological epoché, it is possible to turn our eyes towards the phenomenality itself and to understand its independence. To put the theme of the world and the consciousness between brackets means to discover the structure of the phenomenality, (...) which is constituted by what appears, to which something appears and the way of appearance. The world is the transcendental field of appearance. Everything appears in the world. It is the whole, always given and opened to the human being. The subjectivity is a moment of phenomenality that presupposes the relation with the world. It has a role that makes it an “existence”. It is that to which something appears. Finally the way of appearance: the characters of the phenomenality are “objective mediators”. Mediators because they show the strings that build up the field of appearance, objective because wordly. What they show, even if in the darkness of the absence, is the relation with the world. (shrink)
The purpose of my paper is to challenge the binary classification of authenticity, which is currently employed in the bioethical debate on enhancement technologies. According to the standard dichotomy, there is a stark opposition between the self-discovery model, which depicts the self as a substantial and original inwardness, and the self-creation model, which assumes that the self is an open project, that has to be constituted by one’s free actions. My claim is that the so-called self-creation model actually conflates two (...) distinct versions of authenticity: one that is decisionist and one that is experimentalist. Hence, my proposal is to distinguish between three different models of authenticity: (i) self-discovery, which is an expressivist model of authenticity; (ii) existential commitment, which is a decisionist model; and (iii) reinvention of the self, which is an experimentalist model. Such a three-fold distinction will vast a more nuanced and clear light upon the enhancement debate. (shrink)
Cum arată un om moral? Este acesta un om care se află în posesia unor principii ferme și știe cum să le aplice? Sau este un om care, neavând nevoie de reguli morale, reușește de fiecare dată să ia decizia corectă? Poate fi moralitatea codificată într-un set de principii universale? Sau viața morală este mult prea complexă pentru a fi guvernată de reguli stricte? Dar dacă moralitatea nu constă în aplicarea unor standarde generale, ci în capacitatea de a lua decizii (...) corecte, cum știm că o decizie este corectă? Iar dacă explicațiile morale trebuie să fie structurate de crtierii universale, cum putem să dăm seama de pluralitatea și singularitatea contextelor etice? Toate aceste întrebări și dileme, care au configurat destinul eticii occidentale de la Platon și Aristotel până în zilele noastre, sunt abordate într-o cheie nouă în filosofia morală contemporană. Apologia principiilor morale și critica acestora constituie cei doi poli între care oscilează etica, împărțind filosofia morală contemporană în două concepții rivale: generalismul și particularismul. Ce argumente au filosofii generaliști și cum răspund susținătorii particularismului? Cât de valabile sunt raționamentele vehiculate și ce s-ar putea spune în plus? Nu cumva, în decursul istoriei, s-a pierdut ceva esențial pentru gândirea morală, ceva care face ca frământările etice ale omului contemporan să fie nesfârșite, sterile și înșelătoare? (shrink)
In this paper, I will compare Kant’s and Kierkegaard’s reflections on faith as they are articulated in the particular analyses of Abraham’s sacrifice. Kant’s prosecution of Abraham, which commences from the idea of “natural religion”, rests on two interrelated lines of attack, an epistemological one and ethical one, which deem Abraham’s action to be morally reprehensible. For Kant, the primacy of the practical reason leaves no special room for divine duties that are not ethical at the same time. On the (...) other hand, Kierkegaard’s defence of the sacrifice is orbiting around the possibility of a teleological suspension of the ethical. If such a suspension is possible, then faith is a paradox according to which the single individual is higher than the universal. As such, an absolute duty to god is possible, but such a duty is not rationally justifiable or publicly communicable. My paper ends with to some considerations about the protestant inheritance of both, Kant and Kierkegaard. (shrink)
This paper aims to highlight some major differences between the ethics of “self-becoming”, as it was sketched by Friedrich Nietzsche, and the so-called “aesthetics of existence”, which was developed in Michel Foucault’s late work. Although the propinquity between the two authors is a commonplace in Foucauldian exegesis, my claim is that the two projects of self-creation are dissimilar in four relevant aspects. To support my thesis I will use Foucault’s four-part ethical framework through which I will analyze each of the (...) two projects. Foucault, Nietzsche, self-creation, will to power, aesthetics of existence, ethical substance, mode of subjectification, ethical work, ethical telos, power relations. (shrink)
In this paper I will discuss the problem of justification in moral particularism. The first part is concerned with Jonathan Dancy’s account of justification, which is a narrative one. To justify one’s choice is to present a persuasive description of the context in a narrative fashion, not to subordinate singular cases to universal rules. Since it dismisses arguments and employs persuasiveness, this view seems irrational, so the second part of my paper will consist of a personal reconstruction and reformulation of (...) Dancy’s account that will aim at defending particularist justification from being labeled as “irrational”. (shrink)
This paper is a critical investigation about the historical origins of two contemporary approaches in ethics: moral particularism and moral generalism. Moral particularism states that there are no defensible moral principles and that moral thought doesn’t consist in the application of moral principles to cases, but in understanding the morally relevant features of an action, which vary from case to case. In opposition, moral generalism is the traditional claim that moral decisions are made by applying general rules to particular actions. (...) Plato is often seen as a moral generalist for his appeal to Forms which are universal standards, while Aristotle is regarded as a precursor of moral particularism for stressing the importance of the “the prudence”, which is the intellectual capacity to perceive the irreducible specificity of a context, and the importance of “the means” which differs from person to person. First I will take Plato into discussion, and I will briefly reconstruct his theoretical account on Justice and virtue in order to establish his “generalist” orientation. Then I will analyze Aristotle’s alleged particularism by appealing to his texts and assessing some considerations of a few contemporary authors. At the end of the paper, I will question both particularism and generalism for the appropriation of the two ancient philosophers, on the ground that modern moral philosophy which is an action centered ethics is hard to reconcile with ancient moral thought which was an agent centered one. (shrink)
The first part of this study is a reflection on the writings of Lowi and Briefs, and deals with the transition from the ideal of liberty to interest-group liberalism in the United States. In the second part I offer an analysis of Hegel’s attempt to combine the ideals of justice and liberty within a political economy. The third part deals with further issues of economic justice raised by the Bishops’ recent Pastoral Letter.
Cet article présente des arguments selon lesquels le concept de schizophrénie est un stéréotype préjudiciable qu’il vaudrait mieux éliminer de la recherche et de la pratique clinique. Les obstacles à une telle élimination sont repérés, et nous discutons des stratégies pour les surmonter.The paper presents arguments for the claim that the concept of schizophrenia is a harmful stereotype that is best eliminated from research and clinical practice. Obstacles to such elimination are identified and strategies for overcoming them are discussed.
L’histoire de la philosophie retient l’image de Husserl critiquant le relativisme de Dilthey dans la « Philosophie als strenge Wissenschaft » (Logos 1910/11). Or, la publication progressive des inédits des deux philosophes permet de la nuancer. Tout particulièrement l’étude des écrits psychologiques de Dilthey ouvre une perspective qui dévoile le véritable enjeu gnoséologique de sa rencontre possible avec Husserl : le dépassement du dualisme corps/âme et de la structure topologique intérieur/extérieur dans la psychologie. Liée avec le tournant gnoséologique de Dilthey, (...) cette problématique fondationnelle éclaire sous une lumière inattendue le transcendantalisme de Husserl. (shrink)