In 1943, Henryk Grossman sent a draft of the study, eventually published in two parts as ‘The Evolutionist Revolt against Classical Economics’, to Max Horkheimer for comment. His very hostile response, Grossman’s drafts and the published study cast light not only on the changing relationship between Grossman and Horkheimer but also on the distance between Grossman’s classical Marxism and nascent mature Critical Theory. Grossman’s study identified the emergence of the idea of successive economic systems in (...) the work of Condorcet, Henri Saint-Simon and Simonde de Sismondi in France, James Steuart and Richard Jones in England, culminating in Marx’s formulations which entailed the role of class struggle and capitalism’s tendency to break down. Hegel was not an influence on Marx’s conception of modes of production. In addition to a series of spurious and minor criticisms, Horkheimer objected that Grossman’s approach was positivist, that it misconceived Hegel’s philosophy, and that it amounted to a conventional history of ideas. In response, Grossman made some changes in his study, but these were designed to strengthen his main arguments and successfully reaffirmed his Marxist approach in the face of Horkheimer’s criticisms. (shrink)
The article endeavours to compare the reflections on the Shoah of two of the most celebrated intellectuals of Jewish origin of the 20th century, namely the German philosopher Hans Jonas and the Soviet writer Vasily Grossman. Both Jonas’ essay on The Concept of God after Auschwitz and Grossman’s novels and reports, such as The Hell of Treblinka, Life and Fate, and The Sistine Madonna, are characterised by a thorough enquiry into the ambivalence of the human condition, that tries (...) to shed some light on the disturbing abyss of Auschwitz and the Shoah. Although neither Jonas nor Grossman considered themselves as religious believers, thanks to the Shoah they recollected their Jewish roots and developed peculiar and innovative thoughts on the meaning and vulnerability of life, human freedom, immortality, and God. The article endeavours to highlight the main similarities and differences between these two authors, who tackled the issue of thinking after Auschwitz. (shrink)
: The work of Boris Hessen and Henryk Grossman on the emergence of early modern science is an attempt at a historical sociology of science and a historical epistemology of scientific knowledge. One of their theses is elaborated here, namely that early modern mechanics developed in the study of contemporary technology. In particular I discuss the thesis that the replacement of the Aristotelian concept of motion by the modern general and mathematical concept developed in the study of transmission machines. (...) In addition to a discussion of the thesis and its implications, I also present a case study to substantiate the thesis. I show that Benedetti's famous refutation of Aristotle and his introduction of a new concept of motion depended on empirical knowledge of the newly invented treadle mechanism. I argue that although the historiography of science since the 1930s has explored many of the individual issues first raised by the Marxist historians of science, this perspective remains unique in that it establishes direct and informative connections between the grand narrative of the transition from agrarian-feudal society to industrial production in early capitalism and the development of science and technology down to specific cognitive issues such as shared assumptions concerning the natural order. (shrink)
We consider connections between number sense—the ability to judge number—and the interpretation of natural language quantifiers. In particular, we present empirical evidence concerning the neuroanatomical underpinnings of number sense and quantifier interpretation. We show, further, that impairment of number sense in patients can result in the impairment of the ability to interpret sentences containing quantifiers. This result demonstrates that number sense supports some aspects of the language faculty.
The Buddhist construct of mindfulness is a central element of mindfulness-based interventions and derives from a systematic phenomenological programme developed over several millennia to investigate subjective experience. Enthusiasm for ?mindfulness? in Western psychological and other science has resulted in proliferation of definitions, operationalizations and self-report inventories that purport to measure mindful awareness as a trait. This paper addresses a number of seemingly intractable issues regarding current attempts to characterize mindfulness and also highlights a number of vulnerabilities in this domain that (...) may lead to denaturing, distortion, dilution or reification of Buddhist constructs related to mindfulness. Enriching positivist Western psychological paradigms with a detailed and complex Buddhist phenomenology of the mind may require greater study and long-term direct practice of insight meditation than is currently common among psychologists and other scientists. Pursuit of such an approach would seem a necessary precondition for attempts to characterize and quantify mindfulness. (shrink)
Whereas most previous and later discussions of Marx’s transformation of values into prices of production have focused on his mathematical procedure, Henryk Grossman addressed the logic of its place in the structure ofCapital. On this basis he criticised underconsumptionist and disproportionality theorists of economic crises for inappropriately basing their accounts on the level of analysis of the value schemas in the second volume ofCapital. Such a criticism cannot be made of Grossman’s and Marx’s explanation of systemic crises in (...) terms of the tendency for the rate of profit to fall. Grossman’s article still provides insights into Marx’s analysis of capitalism and his theory of economic crises, unsurpassed in the subsequent literature. (shrink)
Characterisations of Henryk Grossman as a theorist of capitalism’s automatic collapse and political passivity are false. Even before the publication of his principal work, Grossman had linked his recovery of Marx’s account of capitalism’s tendency to break down to his own, interventionist, Leninist politics. This is apparent in his substantial critique of Fritz Sternberg’s influential 1926 book, Imperialism. Grossman’s article also restates fundamental aspects of Marx’s value theory, class analysis and account of wages.
This article suggests a way to circumvent some of the problems that follow from the lack of consensus on a definition of emotion (Izard, 2010; Kleinginna & Kleinginna, 1981) and emotion regulation (Cole, Martin, & Dennis, 2004) by adopting a conceptual framework based on discrete emotions theory and focusing on specific emotions. Discrete emotions theories assume that neural, affective, and cognitive processes differ across specific emotions and that each emotion has particular motivational and regulatory functions. Thus, efforts at regulation should (...) target the specific dysregulated emotions. The positive effects of emotion regulation are more likely to be optimized when they result from or lead to emotion utilization—the constructive use of the energy of emotion arousal. Effective processes for regulation differ for basic emotions and emotion schemas. This article identifies neural systems that facilitate emotion experiences and emotion regulation processes. It considers the implications of the developmental change from basic emotions to emotion schemas, and also briefly discusses the effects of interventions on changes in emotion knowledge, emotion regulation, and social and emotional competence. (shrink)
Professor Grossman’s introduction to the revolutionary work of Husserl, Heidegger and Sartre studies the ideas of their predecessors too, explaining in detail Descartes’s conception of the mind, Brentano’s theory of intentionality, and Kierkegaard’s emphasis on dread, while tracing the debate over existence and essence as far back as Aquinas and Aristotle. For a full understanding of the existentialists and phenomenologists, we must also understand the problems that they were trying to solve. This book, originally published in 1984, presents clearly (...) how the main concerns of phenomenology and existentialism grew out of tradition. (shrink)
The present study examined the neural substrate of two classes of quantifiers: numerical quantifiers like â at least threeâ which require magnitude processing, and logical quantifiers like â someâ which can be understood using a simple form of perceptual logic. We assessed these distinct classes of quantifiers with converging observations from two sources: functional imaging data from healthy adults, and behavioral and structural data from patients with corticobasal degeneration who have acalculia. Our findings are consistent with the claim that numerical (...) quantifier comprehension depends on a lateral parietal-dorsolateral prefrontal network, but logical quantifier comprehension depends instead on a rostral medial prefrontal-posterior cingulate network. These observations emphasize the important contribution of abstract number knowledge to the meaning of numerical quantifiers in semantic memory and the potential role of a logic-based evaluation in the service of non-numerical quantifiers. (shrink)
In the game theory literature, Garrett Hardin’s famous allegory of the “tragedy of the commons” has been modeled as a variant of the Prisoner’s Dilemma, labeled the Herder Problem (or, sometimes, the Commons Dilemma). This brief paper argues that important differences in the institutional structures of the standard Prisoner’s Dilemma and Herder Problem render the two games different in kind. Specifically, institutional impediments to communication and cooperation that ensure a dominant strategy of defection in the classic Prisoner’s Dilemma are absent (...) in the Herder Problem. Their absence does not ensure that players will achieve a welfare-enhancing, cooperative solution to the Herders Problem, but does create far more opportunity for players to alter the expected payoffs through cooperative arrangements. In a properly modeled Herder Problem—along the lines of an assurance game—defection would not always be the dominant strategy. Consequently, the Herder Problem is not in the nature of a Prisoner’s Dilemma. (shrink)
In his early works, Giorgio Agamben argues that some Auschwitz inmates practised a ‘silent form of resistance’ by shutting themselves off from the world until nothing could harm them. I argue that this conception of ‘bare life’ is both too abstract and too individualistic. Agamben’s idea of bare life’s resistance first neglects the socio-historical context that has produced particular instances of it, effectively barring the investigation into how to avoid future occurrences of sovereign violence. Agamben, second, emphasizes the potential for (...) resistance present in individual bodies shut off from the world without providing guidelines for how these bodies should form a substantive community. I consequently employ Vasily Grossman’s writings on the Shoah to provide an alternative conception of bare life’s resistance in the camps. According to Grossman, resistance lies not in closing oneself off from the world, but in cultivating ineradicable nodes of ‘senseless kindness’ in concrete human interactions. (shrink)