This is the first translation into English of a milestone in Nietzsche interpretation. Wolfgang Mller-Lauter examines Nietzsche's doctrines of the will to power and the overman in light of Nietzsche's philosophy of real contradictions.
Feminist analyses of the roles gender has played in art lead to an alternative theory that emphasizes art's complex interactions with culture(s) rather than the autonomy within culture claimed for it by formalism. Focusing on the visual arts, I extrapolate the new theory from feminist research and compare it with formalist precepts. Sharing Arthur Danto's concern that art has been disenfranchised in the twentieth century by its preoccupation with theory, I claim that feminist thought re-enfranchises art by revisioning its relationship (...) to its contexts. (shrink)
1. In praise of Tocqueville. The young United States was lucky – and deserving of its luck – to find as profound an interpreter of its principles as Alexis de Tocqueville. So deeply, so philosophically, did he comprehend this country in Democracy in America 1 that today's reflections on liberty and equality in America either copy Tocqueville or fall short of understanding. The following reflections will be guilty of both plagiarism and superficiality but they do intend to capture something of (...) Tocqueville's spirit. He gave this nation its due. He brought to his endeavors some advantages we no longer enjoy. For example, he had first-hand experience of democracy's great alternative and predecessor, aristocracy; he knew both sides because he was both sides. Of course, some advantages accrue to those of us who have come after him, even apart from having Democracy in America to study. The United States may not be old but it is older now; we can take later developments into account. Thus, we no longer lack poets or poetry; we probably suffer as much from crime as from vice; and juries do not function all that well. But no dwarfish ability to climb the shoulders of a giant nor special dispensation from history can compensate us for the lack of Tocqueville's genius: the breadth of vision that recalls Montesquieu and even Aristotle, an intimacy, reminiscent of Rousseau, with modernity's demons, a sad coming to terms with human contingency that puts one in mind of Thucydides. All honor to Alexis de Tocqueville. (shrink)
The mystical experiences of the ṛṣis , the spiritual giants of the early Vedic times, led to the creation of the Vedic hymns and eventually to the formation of the whole elaborate structure of the Vedic religion, as upheld by the Indian priesthood. But there were obviously others who pursued mystical experiences without themselves engaging, like the ancient ṛṣis , in attempts to transmit their experiences through mythological poetry and religious leadership. They adopted mystical ecstasy as their way of life. (...) Mysticism as a conscious way of life is, in India, called Yoga. Being outside the trend of Vedic mythological creativity and the Brāhmanic religious orthodoxy, the Yogis of Vedic times left little evidence of their existence, practices and achievements. And such evidence as has survived in the Vedas is scanty and indirect. (shrink)
I defend the thesis that at least some moral properties can be part of the contents of experience. I argue for this claim using a _contrast argument_, a type of argument commonly found in the literature on the philosophy of perception. I first appeal to psychological research on what I call emotionally empathetic dysfunctional individuals to establish a phenomenal contrast between EEDI s and normal individuals in some moral situations. I then argue that the best explanation for this contrast, assuming (...) non-skeptical moral realism, is that _badness_ is represented in the normal individual’s experience but not in the EEDI ’s experience. I consider and reject four alternative explanations of the contrast. (shrink)
Plato's dialogues frequently criticize traditional Greek myth, yet Plato also integrates myth with his writing. Daniel S. Werner confronts this paradox through an in-depth analysis of the Phaedrus, Plato's most mythical dialogue. Werner argues that the myths of the Phaedrus serve several complex functions: they bring nonphilosophers into the philosophical life; they offer a starting point for philosophical inquiry; they unify the dialogue as a literary and dramatic whole; they draw attention to the limits of language and the (...) limits of knowledge; and they allow Plato to co-opt cultural authority as a way of defining and legitimating the practice of philosophy. Platonic myth, as a species of traditional tale, is thus both distinct from philosophical dialectic and similar to it. Ultimately, the most powerful effect of Platonic myth is the way in which it leads readers to participate in Plato's dialogues and to engage in a process of self-examination. (shrink)
The paper discusses the concept of the cognitive niche and distinguishes the latter from the metabolic niche. By using these posits I unpack certain ideas that are crucial for the enactivist movement, especially for its original formulation proposed by Varela, Thompson and Rosh. Drawing on the ontology of location, boundaries, and parthood, I argue that enacting the world can be seen as the process of cognitive niche construction. Moreover, it turns out that enactivism—as seen through the lens of the conceptual (...) framework proposed in the paper—considers cognition as a kind of connection between the subject and the world. This post is pointed to as the key idea laid down in enactivism. (shrink)
Critical Heuristics of Social Planning has been recognised as the seminal work on critical systems thinking. Ulrich offers a new approach both to practical philosophy (which has until now remained rather unpractical) and to systems thinking (which has reduced the systems idea to a tool of merely instrumental, rather than practical, reason). Critical systems heuristics (CSH), as the approach is now generally called, provides planners, practitioners and policy makers with a conceptual tool for practising practical reason. It will enable them (...) to identify and discuss systematically the value implications of policies, plans, problem definitions, or program evaluations. In addition, the book offers the most thorough-going introduction available today to the espistemological foundations of critical systems thinking, including a practicable model of cogent argumentation on disputed value implications of designs. A must for practitioners and scholars who are interested in a self-critical and practicable understanding of the widespread call for holistic or systems thinking! "Critical Heuristics will be recognised as a very important book in the emerging systems discipline and will hold a significant position for many years to come". Peter B. Checkland, University of Lancaster, England. "An outstanding contribution to an adequate philosophical and heuristic framework for critical social inquiry and design". C. West Churchman, University of California, Berkeley, USA. "The book fills a major gap in the literature on the systems tradition". Michael C. Jackson, University of Hull, England. "Drawing on a profound knowledge of both Anglo-American systems theory and German practical philosophy, this book belongs to the best studies I have seen on the normative foundations of planning and systems design." Horst Steinmann, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany. "Mandatory for libraries in the field of planning". John Friedmann, University of California, Los Angeles, USA. (shrink)
Gregor Schiemann führt allgemeinverständlich in das Denken dieses Physikers ein. Thema sind die Erfahrungen und Überlegungen, die Heisenberg zu seinen theoretischen Erkenntnissen geführt haben, die wesentlichen Inhalte dieser Erkenntnisse sowie die Konsequenzen, die er daraus für die Geschichte der Physik und das wissenschaftliche Weltbild gezogen hat. Heisenbergs Vorstellungswelt durchzieht durch ein Spannungsverhältnis, das heute noch das Denken vieler Wissenschaftlerinnen und Wissenschaftler bewegt. Er ist um ein umfassendes Verständnis der Naturprozesse bemüht, zugleich aber von der Berechenbarkeit und Beherrschbarkeit von Phänomenen auch (...) dann schon fasziniert, wenn die zugrunde liegenden Prozesse erst teilweise verstanden sind. Aus der Geschichte der Physik zieht er die wirkungsreiche Lehre, daß sich die naturwissenschaftliche Erkenntnis nicht kontinuierlich, sondern sprunghaft in Form von Revolutionen entwickelt. Die Reichweite des physikalischen Wissens begrenzt er in einer Schichtentheorie der Welt, nach der die komplexen Phänomene des Lebens nicht allein durch die Wechselwirkungen zwischen ihren Bestandteilen erklärt werden können. Der zunehmenden Technisierung der Welt steht Heisenberg kritisch gegenüber. Seiner Zeit weit voraus, glaubt er, daß die Technisierung der Welt eine epochal neue Stufe erreicht habe, in der der Mensch „nur noch sich selbst“ gegenüberstehe. (shrink)
According to a posteriori ethical intuitionism, perceptual experiences can provide non-inferential justification for at least some moral beliefs. Moral epistemology, for the defender of AEI, is less like the epistemology of math and more like the epistemology of tables and chairs. One serious threat to AEI comes from the phenomenon of cognitive penetration. The worry is that even if evaluative properties could figure in the contents of experience, they would only be able to do so if prior cognitive states influence (...) perceptual experience. Such influences would undermine the non-inferential, foundationalist credentials of AEI. In this paper, I defend AEI against this objection. Rather than deny that cognitive penetration exists, I argue that some types of cognitive penetrability are actually compatible with AEI's foundationalist structure. This involves teasing apart the question of whether some particular perceptual process has justification-conferring features from the question of how it came to have those features in the first place. Once this distinction is made, it becomes clear that some kinds of cognitive penetration are compatible with the non-inferential status of moral perceptual experiences as the proponent of AEI claims. (shrink)
In a recent article published in this journal, Kris McDaniel proposes a variant of Peter van Inwagen’s argument against the principle of sufficient reason that makes crucial use of plural grounding. In this response paper I object to McDaniel’s argument. I argue that there is no notion of plural grounding available that is both irreflexive in the sense required for the argument to go through and general enough to formulate the principle of sufficient reason as proposed by McDaniel.
We explore the different meanings of “quantum uncertainty” contained in Heisenberg’s seminal paper from 1927, and also some of the precise definitions that were developed later. We recount the controversy about “Anschaulichkeit”, visualizability of the theory, which Heisenberg claims to resolve. Moreover, we consider Heisenberg’s programme of operational analysis of concepts, in which he sees himself as following Einstein. Heisenberg’s work is marked by the tensions between semiclassical arguments and the emerging modern quantum theory, between intuition and rigour, and between (...) shaky arguments and overarching claims. Nevertheless, the main message can be taken into the new quantum theory, and can be brought into the form of general theorems. They come in two kinds, not distinguished by Heisenberg. These are, on one hand, constraints on preparations, like the usual textbook uncertainty relation, and, on the other, constraints on joint measurability, including trade-offs between accuracy and disturbance. (shrink)
It is widely acknowledged that some truths or facts don’t have a minimal full ground [see e.g. Fine ]. Every full ground of them contains a smaller full ground. In this paper I’ll propose a minimality constraint on immediate grounding and I’ll show that it doesn’t fall prey to the arguments that tell against an unqualified minimality constraint. Furthermore, the assumption that all cases of grounding can be understood in terms of immediate grounding will be defended. This assumption guarantees that (...) the proposed minimality constraint is significant for all cases of grounding. With its help one can get a clear grip on the relevance of grounding, a feature that will be put to use in the penultimate section. (shrink)
Proponents of impure moral perception claim that, while there are perceptual moral experiences, these experiences epistemically depend on a priori moral knowledge. Proponents of pure moral perception claim that moral experiences can justify independently of substantive a priori moral knowledge. Some philosophers, most notably David Faraci, have argued that the pure view is mistaken, since moral perception requires previous moral background knowledge, and such knowledge could not itself be perceptual. I defend pure moral perception against this objection. I consider two (...) ways to understand the notion of “background knowledge” that is crucial to the objection. On a reading, the claim that background knowledge is necessary for moral perception is likely false. On a second and weaker reading, the claim is true, but the background knowledge in question could be perceptual, and thus compatible with pure moral perception. Thus, the objection fails. (shrink)