This article investigates several discussions of “chemistry,” understood as an analysts’ category referring to theories and practices dealing with the structure and transformation of matter. By reading these texts (a treatise defending kīmiyāʾ by al-Fārābī, the famous passage from Ibn Sīnā’s Shifāʾ on transmutation, Ibn Taymiyyah’s fatwā against kīmiyāʾ, Michael Psellos’s treatise On Making Gold, and the same author’s Accusation against a sitting Patriarch of Constantinople), the article aims to lay the groundwork for integrating the historiography of Byzantine and Arabic (...) alchemy into a wider western Eurasian intellectual history. (shrink)
This article examines the dedicatory epigram of the earliest and most important witness to the Greek alchemical corpus, the tenth-century manuscript donated by Cardinal Bessarion to the Republic of Venice, Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana MS gr. 299, as a window onto the cultural coordinates of the manuscript’s middle Byzantine readers. Scrutiny of the epigram’s meter, language, literary conventions, and the handwriting of the scribe who copied it into the manuscript point to a tenth-century date not only for the manuscript but also (...) for the epigram itself and make it possible to situate the epigram, and with it the alchemical manuscript that contains it, within the mainstream of middle Byzantine elite culture. (shrink)
Thābit b. Qurra, a Sabian of Ḥarrān, and his descendants remained in their ancestral religion for six generations. Why did they persist despite pressure to convert? This article argues that religious self-identification as a Sabian could be a distinct advantage in Baghdad’s elite circles. It focuses on Thābit’s great-grandson Abū Isḥāq Ibrāhīm b. Hilāl al-Ṣābī and his poetry as collected by al-Thaʿālibī. Two members of the family who did convert are also considered by way of contrast.
This essay analyzes the known evidence for Byzantine engagement with what are conventionally termed “alchemical” texts, theories, and practices of the Islamic world. Much of the evidence is difficult to date. Nevertheless, the aggregated direct, indirect, and circumstantial evidence suggests at least some engagement by Greek-speaking scholars throughout the Middle Ages. This engagement took various forms, from the use of Arabic, Persian, and Turkish terminology to the adaptation of whole Arabic treatises in Greek. Sometimes the Byzantine texts emphasize their Islamicate (...) sources, and sometimes they do not mention these sources at all. The resulting picture is still fragmentary, but it indicates that medieval Greek-speaking scholars were active in the circulation of chemical knowledge and techniques in the Mediterranean and Middle East. Byzantium, therefore, should no longer be left out of research into long-term patterns in the history of science. (shrink)
Quasi-set theory provides us a mathematical background for dealing with collections of indistinguishable elementary particles. In this paper, we show how to obtain the usual statistics (Maxwell–Boltzmann, Bose–Einstein, and Fermi–Dirac) into the scope of quasi-set theory. We also show that, in order to derive Maxwell–Boltzmann statistics, it is not necessary to assume that the particles are distinguishable or individuals. In other words, Maxwell–Boltzmann statistics is possible even in an ensamble of indistinguishable particles, at least from the theoretical point of view. (...) The main goal of this paper is to provide the mathematical grounds of a quasi-set theoretical framework for statistical mechanics. (shrink)
An important challenge in bilingualism research is to understand the mechanisms underlying sentence processing in a second language and whether they are comparable to those underlying native processing. Here, we focus on verb-particle constructions (VPCs) that are among the most difficult elements to acquire in L2 English. The verb and the particle form a unit, which often has a non-compositional meaning (e.g., look up or chew out), making the combined structure semantically opaque. However, bilinguals with higher levels of English proficiency (...) can develop a good knowledge of the semantic properties of verb-particle constructions (Blais and Gonnerman, 2013). A second difficulty is that in a sentence context, the particle can be shifted after the direct object of the verb, (e.g., The professor looked it up). The processing is more challenging when the object is long (e.g. The professor looked the student’s last name up.). This shifted structure favors syntactic processing at the expense of VPC semantic processing. We sought to determine whether or not bilinguals’ reading time (RT) patterns would be similar to those observed for native monolinguals (Gonnerman and Hayes, 2005) when reading VPCs in sentential contexts. French-English bilinguals were tested for English language proficiency, working memory and explicit VPC semantic knowledge. During a self-paced reading task, participants read 78 sentences with verb-particle constructions that varied according to parameters that influence native speakers’ reading dynamics: verb-particle transparency, particle adjacency and length of the object noun phrase (NP; 2, 3, or 5 words). RTs in a critical region that included verbs, NPs and particles were measured. Results revealed that RTs were modulated by participants’ English proficiency, with higher proficiency associated with shorter RTs. Examining participants’ explicit semantic knowledge of VPCs and working memory, only readers with more native-like knowledge of VPCs and a high working memory presented RT patterns that were similar to those of monolinguals. Therefore, given the necessary lexical and computational resources, bilingual processing of novel structures at the syntax-semantics interface follows the principles influencing native processing. The findings are in keeping with theories that postulate similar representations and processing in L1 and L2 modulated by processing difficulty. (shrink)
When discussing the French Revolution and Napoleon in his lectures from 1933 to 1939, Alexandre Kojève had in mind events in Russia. The clash between the “old order,” with its Masters, and the worker Slaves corresponded for him more with the images of pre-revolutionary Russian journalism than with the wigged aristocrats and French bourgeoisie of the end of the eighteenth century. In his lectures, behind Napoleon, as a revolutionary emperor, there exists, however secretly or openly, the figure of Stalin, (...) with his plans for the “building of socialism in one country,” his five-year plans, collectivization, and terror. Kojève’s ontology and anthropology diverge both from Hegel’s version of the two as well as with Marxism, incorporating different theses from Nietzsche and Heidegger’s Daseinanalytik. Just as in The Phenomenology of Spirit, terror plays a central role in interpreting revolution, yet it is conceived in the spirit of a Heideggerian “being-toward-death.” The relation between Master and Slave begins with fear of death, and it is destroyed by fear of death in the face of revolutionary terror. In this article, Kojève’s philosophy converges with the various versions of “left Nietzscheanism,” which were particularly widespread in prerevolutionary Russia. (shrink)
O principal objetivo deste artigo é apresentar uma identidade possível entre os conceitos de forma e de qualidade na filosofia de Charles Sanders Peirce, por meio de seus argumentos em sua Semiótica e em sua Cosmologia. Em outras palavras, nosso objetivo é mostrar que a primeiridade consiste em uma forma, parte constitutiva da natureza da terceiridade, na medida em que a tendência à generalização ou à aquisição de hábitos estava prefigurada na origem do cosmos. De natureza indutiva, o passo do (...) nada absoluto para uma unidade de qualidades prefigura um universo inteligível de natureza formal. Esta unidade já pode ser considerada uma restrição de uma potencialidade de força maior presente naquele nada germinal: a primeira categoria é configurada, então, como sendo de natureza potencial qualitativa. O adjetivo “qualitativa” apresenta uma espécie de restrição da potencialidade para a qual nos referimos: tal potencial é desta ou daquela espécie. A segunda categoria, por sua vez, surge de um caos de sentimentos: não é a interação entre tais sentimentos que traz a segunda categoria à realidade, mas a mera manifestação do sentimento que é, por sua vez, caracterizado como a aparência momentânea da qualidade. Esta aparência não é potencial, mas atual. Ela já é um fato; ela já é uma restrição da potencialidade qualitativa. Sentimento enquanto atualidade e qualidade em seu estado potencial prefiguram a origem do outro que se apresenta: este outro está, portanto, inscrito na natureza da qualidade e já apresenta a dualidade objeto e objeto representado. Por fim, a tendência à generalização é reconhecida por meio das relações que as qualidades estabelecem entre si: na medida em que o aparecimento de uma ou mais qualidades se manteve insistente, tais qualidades começaram a estabelecer relações entre si, permitindo a formação indutiva de leis e objetos mais complexos, mas sempre devedores do material disponível prefigurado na origem: qualidades. (shrink)
In this paper, we explore the ontological and theological ground of political institutions in order to then reflect upon the eschatological calling of society. The paper builds on Tillich's ontological insight that love does not simply transcend justice, but that it permeates and drives justice, that justice gives form to love's reunion of the separated. This relation between love and justice is at play in political institutions: these unite human beings under forms of justice that must be transformed ever anew (...) if they are not to lose touch with the dynamic power of love and freeze into increasingly unjust juridicalism. The modern history of Western civilisation bears witness to this ontological tension, and the phenomenon of globalisation is yet another instance of human society's mystical calling. Thus, love heads the dynamic movement that transforms political institutions ever anew. Yet society as a whole must become conscious of its ontology for humanity to truly reach its eschatological potential, and this will require both that theology recovers its ground and that political theory thinks theologically. (shrink)
The article develops three complementary lines of argument. It first points to the great theoretical gap that characterizes Koselleck's work: quasi-transcendental anthropology on the one hand, and historical semantics on the other. The hybrid status of historical semantics, both macro- and micro- sociological, is also specified. Secondly, the article critiques the neo-Hobbesianism implicit in Koselleck's historical ontology. Departing from Jean Baechler's anthropology, it reformulates the conceptual framework within which the initial foundational ambition could be maintained without however renewing the aporiai (...) of the Koselleckian systematics. Finally, it asks how to connect the three M's (the meta-historical, the macro- and the micro-sociological levels). The solution focuses on the core aspects of the intermediate, macro-sociological level to make the case for a heuristic reciprocal hybridization of meta-historical anthropology, of comparative historical sociology and of the pragmatic history of historical semantics. (shrink)
According to what we will call subjectivity theories of consciousness, there is a constitutive connection between phenomenal consciousness and subjectivity: there is something it is like for a subject to have mental state M only if M is characterized by a certain mine-ness or for-me-ness. Such theories appear to face certain psychopathological counterexamples: patients appear to report conscious experiences that lack this subjective element. A subsidiary goal of this chapter is to articulate with greater precision both subjectivity theories and the (...) psychopathological challenge they face. The chapter’s central goal is to present two new approaches to defending subjectivity theories in the face of this challenge. What distinguishes these two approaches is that they go to great lengths to interpret patients’ reports at face value – greater length, at any rate, than more widespread approaches in the extant literature. (shrink)
Recueil des commentaires de Michel Alexandre sur la "Critique de la raison pure" d'après des notes de cours, comme la première édition de 1961. Cependant, on y a ajouté un quatrième chapitre, intitulé "L'ordre", avec des notes sur les deux dernières critiques, "Critique de la raison pratique" et "Critique du jugement". L'ensemble couvre les vingt dernières années d'enseignement de M. Alexandre (1932-1952), dont le commentaire relève du genre "Auslegung" (qu'on pourrait traduire par "exposition") comme celui que firent de (...) Kant un Hegel ou un Heidegger, et qui se caractérise par une certaine manière de questionner les textes. Ce volume est donc aussi un hommage rendu à un maître d'u. (shrink)
The study of anarchism as a philosophical, political, and social movement has burgeoned both in the academy and in the global activist community in recent years. Taking advantage of this boom in anarchist scholarship, Nathan J. Jun and Shane Wahl have compiled twenty-six cutting-edge essays on this timely topic in New Perspectives on Anarchism.
The notion of a strongly determined type over A extending p is introduced, where p .S. A strongly determined extension of p over A assigns, for any model M )- A, a type q S extending p such that, if realises q, then any elementary partial map M → M which fixes acleq pointwise is elementary over . This gives a crude notion of independence which arises very frequently. Examples are provided of many different kinds of theories with strongly determined (...) types, and some without. We investigate a notion of multiplicity for strongly determined types with applications to ‘involved’ finite simple groups, and an analogue of the Finite Equivalence Relation Theorem. Lifting of strongly determined types to covers of a structure is discussed, and an application to finite covers is given. (shrink)
Cauchy's sum theorem is a prototype of what is today a basic result on the convergence of a series of functions in undergraduate analysis. We seek to interpret Cauchy’s proof, and discuss the related epistemological questions involved in comparing distinct interpretive paradigms. Cauchy’s proof is often interpreted in the modern framework of a Weierstrassian paradigm. We analyze Cauchy’s proof closely and show that it finds closer proxies in a different modern framework.
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)
Cet article a déjà été publié dans le Carnet Zilsel, en date du 16 septembre 2017. L'auteur remercie Catherine Dupuy, Pascal Engel, Éric Guichard, Gaïa Lassaube, Pierre Lévy, Pierre Mœglin, David Monniaux, Mathieu Triclot et Stéphane Vial, ainsi qu'Arnaud Saint-Martin et Jérôme Lamy, éditeurs du Carnet Zilsel, de leur relecture du projet d'article et de leurs remarques. Il va de soi que l'article lui-même n'engage que son auteur. Rhuthmos remercie Alexandre Moatti et les Carnets Zilsel d'avoir permis - Philosophie (...) – Nouvel article. (shrink)
L’idée d’articuler la phénoménologie et le marxisme peut sembler aujourd’hui quelque peu dépassée, comme elle a pu autrefois apparaître contingente et artificielle. Pourtant, la récurrence et l’insistance avec laquelle, depuis près d’un siècle, ce projet a été réactivé sont peut-être le signe d’une affinité insoupçonnée entre ces deux courants de pensée. Si Husserl n’a pas accordé d’intérêt particulier au marxisme et si Heidegger ne l’a fait qu’assez tardivement, certains de leurs élèves et m...
Motivationally unconscious (M-unconscious) states are unconscious states that can directly motivate a subject’s behavior and whose unconscious character typically results from a form of repression. The basic argument for M-unconscious states claims that they provide the best explanation to some seemingly non rational behaviors, like akrasia, impulsivity or apparent self-deception. This basic argument has been challenged on theoretical, empirical and conceptual grounds. Drawing on recent works on apparent self-deception and on the ‘cognitive unconscious’ I assess those objections. I argue that (...) (i) even if there is a good theoretical argument for its existence, (ii) most empirical vindications of the M-unconscious miss their target. (iii) As for the conceptual objections, they compel us to modify the classical picture of the M-unconscious. I conclude that M-unconscious states and processes must be affective states and processes that the subject really feels and experiences —and which are in this sense conscious— even though they are not, or not well, cognitively accessible to him. Dual process psychology and the literature on cold-hot empathy gaps partly support the existence of such M-unconscious states. (shrink)
In 1909 A. Koyré (1892–1964) came to Göttingen as an exile and there became a student of Edmund Husserl and other philosophers (A. Reinach, M. Scheler): already before leaving his country Russia Koyré read Husserl'sLogical Investigations, a text which interested greatly Russian philosophers and was translated into Russian in the same year. As many other contemporary philosophers, in Göttingen they were discussing on the fundaments of mathematic, Cantor's set theory and Russell's antinomies. On this problems Koyré wrote a long paper (...) inspired to Husserl'sLogical Investigations, read it in the Philosophical Society at Göttingen and submitted it as draft for his Ph.D. dissertation to Prof. Husserl, who refused it. So unhappily the celebrated methodologist and historian of science began his academical career: Koyré came back to write on logical and mathematical paradoxes in 1922 and in 1946–47 saying he was “going back to his first love”. Among other factors this deep interest in mathematic and exact sciences unabled Koyré to analyze Galileo and Newton in his masterly way. (shrink)