The Global Lives of Things: The Material Culture of Connections in the Early Modern World, edited by Anne Gerritsen and Giorgio Riello, Routledge: London and New York, 2016, xiv + 266 p. The collective research concentrated in this volume is claimed both from theoretical sources, mainly positioned in the last two decades of the past century – such as the innovative contribution made by the volume edited by Arjun Appadurai in 1986 or by the volume of author signed by Daniel (...) Miller in 1987 – and from the attempt of reconfiguring this interpretative tendency after a decade, through what the editors call “the global turn”, pointing to the manner in which globalization inherently affects the discourse of social sciences and humanities. Opening such a hermeneutical path, this book gives us grounds for a research program sui generis, for the globalization that characterizes the early modernity expressed through material culture, a program with multiple development opportunities, some of them quite unexpected and unpredictable. (shrink)
This is a transcript of a conversation between P F Strawson and Gareth Evans in 1973, filmed for The Open University. Under the title 'Truth', Strawson and Evans discuss the question as to whether the distinction between genuinely fact-stating uses of language and other uses can be grounded on a theory of truth, especially a 'thin' notion of truth in the tradition of F P Ramsey.
New mechanistic philosophy has not examined explanations in ecology although they are based extensively on describing mechanisms responsible for phenomena under scrutiny. This chapter uses the example of research on the shrub Lonicera maackii (Amur honeysuckle) to scrutinize individual-level mechanisms that are generally accepted and used in ecology and confronts them with the minimal account of mechanisms. Individual-level mechanisms are for a phenomenon, are hierarchical, and absent entities play a role in their functioning. They are distinguished by the role played (...) by properties in determining activities and organization. The chapter also considers the experimental methods for discovery of individual-level mechanisms, the possibility of group-level mechanisms in ecology, and suggests further research problems. (shrink)
A compilation of all previously published writings on philosophy and the foundations of mathematics from the greatest of the generation of Cambridge scholars that included G.E. Moore, Bertrand Russell, Ludwig Wittgenstein and Maynard Keynes.
James Woodward offers a conception of explanation and mechanism in terms of interventionist counterfactuals. Based on a case from ecology, I show that ecologists’ approach to that case satisfies Woodward’s conditions for explanation and mechanism, but his conception does not fully capture what ecologists view as explanatory. The new mechanistic philosophy likewise aims to describe central aspects of mechanisms, but I show that it is not sufficient to account for ecological mechanisms. I argue that in ecology explanation involves identification of (...) invariant and insensitive causal relationships and descriptions of the mechanistic characteristics that make these relations possible. †To contact the author, please write to: Department of Philosophy, University of Dayton, 300 College Park, Dayton, OH 45469‐1546; e‐mail: [email protected] (shrink)
Is the Smartphone (SP) an extension of consciousness or just an (other) externalization of the mind and an extension of the social? The concept of externalizing the mind more appropriately describes a series of processes that tend to be considered extensions of the mind. The human mind has evolved concurrently with various externalizations, such as utensils and language, as contributions to the development of the common environment of humanity: culture and civilization. Externalizations indicate the appearance of the human mind while (...) the extensions take into account the possibility of passing to another level (the singularity of consciousness). SP is a handy tool that mediates the personal relationship with the world, benefiting from a level of integration into the global workspace of the mind. Externalization called the SP could be a bridge from the externalization of the mind to its extensions, making the ontological leap from the utensil status to that of "part of the mind". SP is a mediator of an environment: it mediates between the mind and a special social environment called the Internet (mediates access to cognitive support provided by society through the virtual world), which is gradually becoming another reality. SP is part of the extension of human society by introducing tools into the network of personal relationships. Not the mind is expanded, but the social network, increasing the number of entities with which the human can create and maintain relationships. SP may be an extension of the social rather than an extension of the mind because it mediates an increase in the complexity of social relations that can lead to the emergence of "collective minds" (causing a change in the ontological status of society). Changing cognitive demands is a feature of the world's progress. Progress brings along with it cognitive costs of integration, technical solutions like SP, aimed at reducing these costs, generating an evolutionary advantage in the new social context. From an evolutionist perspective, the world means precisely this kind of modification of cognitive demands necessary for survival, SP joining the set of tools that mediate the cognitive progress of the world in which the human is inserted. We propose the use of an evolutionary cognitive economy principle, based on avoiding unnecessary costs, reducing losses and optimizing cognitive gains. (shrink)
Penned by one of contemporary philosophys most skilled and ardent philosophy teachers, ETHICS: DISCOVERING RIGHT AND WRONG is a rigorous textual overview of the fundamental objectives and outlooks of ethical theory. Concise yet comprehensive, this text draws on many examples from classical and contemporary sources. Written in an engaging and conversational manner, DISCOVERING RIGHT AND WRONG challenges students to develop their own moral theories and competently to reason through ethical problems for themselves.