On 22 July, 2011, we were confronted with the horror of the actions of Anders Behring Breivik. The instant reaction, as we have seen with similar incidents in the past—such as the Oklahoma City bombings—was to attempt to explain the incident. Whether the reasons given were true or not were irrelevant: the fact that there was a reason was better than if there were none. We should not dismiss those that continue to cling on to the initial claims of a (...) wider Jihadist plot behind the actions of Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols as Islamophobes (or merely lacking common sense): for, it is often easier to rely on reason—no matter how fictional—than not to have anything to cling on at all. In many ways, it is even better if the reason is fictional: for, if grounded in a certain fact, or reality, it can then go away. However, if it is in the realm of the imaginary, it is then always already metaphorical: thus, can be applied to any and every situation. And it is this, if we echo Friedrich Nietzsche, that gives us our “metaphysical comfort”; that we can know what is going on. This is why conspiracy theories are so popular: underlying them is the logic that someone—no matter how implausible—is in control of the situation. One would rather believe that all acts of terror stemmed from Osama bin Laden (and the narrative worked even better when he was in a ‘cave in Afghanistan’) than if they were the actions, and decisions, of singular individuals. For, if there is a head organizing everything, it can be cut off; there is no controlling a mass of singularities. As Jean Baudrillard continues to teach us, the term ‘mass’ is not a concept. It is a leitmotif of political demagogy, a soft, sticky, lumpen-analytical notion. A good sociology would attempt to surpass it with ‘more subtle’ categories: socio-professional ones, categories of class, cultural status, etc. This is wrong: it is by prowling around these soft and acritical notions (like ‘mana’ once was) that one can go further than intelligent critical sociology. Besides, it will be noticed retrospectively that the concepts ‘class’, ‘social relations’, ‘power’, ‘status’, ‘institution’, and ‘social’ itself—all these too-explicit concepts which are the glory of the legitimate sciences—but also only ever been muddled notions themselves, but notions upon which agreement has nevertheless been reached for mysterious ends: those of preserving a certain code of analysis. To want to specify the term ‘mass’ is a mistake—it is to provide meaning for that which has none.1 And it is this lack of meaning—this nothingness of not only the mass, but our inability to know in general—that truly scares us. For, if we are never able to legitimately make a generalizing statement, this suggests that we can never actually posit beyond a singular, situational, moment. Hence, we can never claim to know anyone: at best, we can only catch momentary glimpses. It is for this very reason that the insanity plea Breivik’s lawyer will attempt is the one that horrifies us the most. For, if Breivik is insane, this foregrounds our inability to understand, know. And as Aristotle has taught us, it is more important that something is plausible than if something were probable—in this context, we would rather have Breivik as a calculating mass murderer than someone who was completely out of his mind. This is especially ironic in the light of the fact that none of us would say that we have any similarity with Breivik. If that were so, the declaration that he was mad should be no more than a logical consequence. However, we also want Breivik to be accountable for his actions. And in order for that to be so, we need him to be of sound mind. But if that were true, we can then no longer distinguish ourselves from him. And it is precisely this that scares us. For, we are horrified not when there are abnormalities to our way of life. There are usually two different reactions to this—either oppose and destroy it; or subsume it under the dominant logic. We see this most clearly in reactions to immigration: there are either calls for immigrants to ‘pack up and leave’ or pseudo-liberal notions of ‘we are all alike’. Both of which are merely version of “all men are brothers”—the brutal translation of which is that you are my brother if you live the same way as me; otherwise not only are you not my brother, you are also potentially not part of mankind (you might as well be, to echo Giorgio Agamben, bare life ). This is played out in our age of what is commonly termed post-political bio-politics —an instance of horribly awkward theoretical jargon that Slavoj Žižek channeling Agamben unpacks rather elegantly: “ post-politics is a politics which claims to leave behind old ideological struggles and, instead, focus[es] on expert management and administration, while bio-politics designates the regulation of the security and welfare of human lives as its primary goal.”2 Žižek continues: Post-political bio-politics also has two aspects which cannot but appear to belong to two opposite ideological spaces: that of the reduction of humans to ‘bare life,’ to Homo sacer , that so-called sacred being who is the object of expert caretaking knowledge, but is excluded, like prisoners at Guantanamo or Holocaust victims, from all rights; and that of respect for the vulnerable Other brought to an extreme through an attitude of narcissistic subjectivity which experiences the self as vulnerable, constantly exposed to a multitude of potential harassments [….] What these two poles share is precisely the underlying refusal of any higher causes, the notion that the ultimate goal of our lives is life itself. That is why there is no contradiction between the respect for the vulnerable Other and […] the extreme expression of treating individuals as Homini sacer .3 This is why the ones that are harshest towards new immigrants are the recently naturalized citizens of any country. For, if there is no longer any “ideological struggle” and all life is reduced to mere automaton-living, there is the realization that we are all the same—not in a tree-hugging hippie sense—but that the immigrant is the same as us precisely because we are all immigrants. And since all nations, and by extension peoples in a nation (especially those who believe in the notion of nationality, and national identity), have to find some manner, no matter from where or what it is, to distinguish themselves from those around them, the other (in spite, and especially in the light, of its absence) is the most crucial aspect of the discourse of nationality. More precisely, in the interests of what Baudrillard calls “preserving a certain code of analysis” (nationality in this case), what has to be maintained is the absolute otherness of the other. Very rarely is Boris Johnson right: “it is not enough to say he is mad. Anders Breivik is patently mad.”4 However, much like Breivik in his manifesto, he should have stopped whilst he was ahead. By attempting to diagnose Breivik—“the fundamental reasons for their callous behavior lie deep in their own sense of rejection and alienation. It is the ideology that gives them the ostensible cause … that gives them an excuse to dramatize the resentment … and to kill.”—Johnson falls into the same trap that he accuses others of: “to try to advance any other explanation for their actions … is simply to play their self-important game.” More crucially, and this is the point that Johnson completely misses, attempting to rationalize Breivik’s actions—to rehabilitate reason—is a desperate attempt at maintaining his otherness. In fact, we’ll end up going one step further, insist on Breivik’s sanity, put him on the stand, and hope that he will display such a difference from all of us that we can rest safe that we are unlike him and his kind. That, in itself, is a dangerous game to play. One should not forget that the turning point in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is in the central part of her novel where she lets the monster speak. At that moment, the monster moves from an ‘it’ to a fully subjectivized person; with his own stories, historicities, emotions, and so on. In Slavoj Žižek’s reading of Frankenstein , this is the moment where “the ultimate criminal is thus allowed to present himself as the ultimate victim. The monstrous murderer reveals himself to be a deeply hurt and desperate individual, yearning for company and love.”5 But, in the case of Breivik, this goes beyond just a risk of us feeling for him: for, no right-minded person should ever deny another the opportunity to put forth her or his own case. The problem lies with us trying to deny the madness of Breivik’s act by putting him back under reason. The problem is in our inability to differentiate the act from the person; the singular from the universal.6 In our desperation to preserve the notion that we are rational beings incapable of becoming monsters, we’ve had to deny the meaninglessness—in the strict sense of it lying outside of reason—of Breivik’ act; we’ve had to “provide meaning where there is none.” For, if this act were a moment of madness—a moment that comes from elsewhere—we cannot say that it will not descend upon us one day. If Breivik’s actions were that of a sane person, one who is in control of his being, his self, we can then locate the otherness in his being. More importantly, this would allow us to distinguish ourselves from that said being. Breivik’s sanity is the only thing that allows us to say that ‘this act of terror is borne out of one with an ultra-right ideology’; and ‘since I am not of that ideology, I would never do such a thing’. By doing that, we attempt to protect ourselves by claiming that people who share Breivik’s ideology are foreign to us, other to us. However, if Breivik’s act was a moment of insanity, his otherness is no longer locatable: and the notion of ‘us and them’ shifts from a geographical, physical, religious, or cultural notion, to one in the realm of ideas. And this is what truly scares us. For, if what is foreign is not phenomenological, then it cannot be seen, detected, sensed. Anders Behring Breivik, Timothy McVeigh, and Terry Nichols, terrify us not merely for the fact that they were white in a white society, but more pertinently that their skin color did not matter: we would not be able to spot them even if they were blue, even if they were right next to us, even if we had known them all our lives. Even as we are grappling with holding Breivik accountable by declaring him of sound mind, what truly terrifies us is that deep down we know that Breivik’s act is a moment of madness; beyond all comprehensibility. And this means that we would not be able to spot the idea; even if it were in our heads at this very moment. We have gone to lengths to rehabilitate Breivik, McVeigh, Nichols, and such perpetrators of massive incomprehensible violence, in order to preserve our difference from them. What we have really been trying to deny is the fact that everyone, at any given moment, could have a moment of madness. And this is the true radicality of Mary Shelley: in allowing us to momentarily enter the head of the monster, she shows us not just the fact that he is like any one of us, but that any one of us could, in the right (or wrong) circumstance, be like him. Perhaps here, there is a lesson to be learned from Wes Craven’s A Nightmare on Elm Street . The most dangerous thing that one could do on Elm Street was to mention Freddy’s name—once you had knowledge of him, you were open to the possibility of a visit during your dreams. This suggests that Freddy is a combination of externalities (after all, when you die, he survives) and your self (if you have never heard of him, he cannot come for you). In this sense, Freddy would be the manifestation par excellence of what Avital Ronell calls a “killer text”—it is one’s relationality with the text (and the ideas, notions, in the said text) that opens oneself to it, to the lessons of the text, to being changed, affected, even to the dangers of the text. After all, one should never forget Plato’s warning that ideas can corrupt, can be perilous. To compound matters, as Ronell reminds us, “the connection to the other is a reading—not an interpretation, assimilation, or even a hermeneutic understanding, but a reading.”7 Thus, in attempting to differentiate ourselves from Breivik by concocting some reason(s) why we are not like him, we have done nothing but read him, open a connection to him. *** Bang bang, he shot me down Bang bang, I hit the ground Bang bang, that awful sound Bang bang, my baby shot me down. “Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)” Sonny Bono, 1966. This is the part that we all know and remember. Whilst never quite remembering that this is a song that is not so much about violence, love, but about remembering. For, after the bridge comes the accusatory stanza: “Now he's gone, I don't know why/ And till this day, sometimes I cry/ He didn't even say goodbye/ He didn't take the time to lie.” Bang Bang is a game that the two lovers used to play; and all she has now is the memory of the game to remember him by. And the only reason she has to recall this game is: he never provided her a reason for his leaving, his death. Not that she will, can, ever get that satisfactory answer. This is precisely the game we are playing with Anders Behring Breivik. Even though he has left a 1500 page manifesto, even though we will allow him to use the court-room as his platform, we will continue screaming at him “tell me why …” For, what we want him to say is that we are not like him: what we really want him to do is, “take the time to lie …” Perhaps here, we should allow the echo of the infans to resound in baby . As Christopher Fynsk reminds us, the infans is one that is pre-language, pre-knowing, pre-understanding: it is the very finitude, and exteriority, of relationality itself.8 And thus, it is a position of openness to the fullness of possibility—and nothing else. This would be, in Ronell’s terms, a “connection to the other” that knows nothing other than the fact that it is a connection. The true horror of 22 July, 2011, is the fact that it is not Anders Behring Breivik who is mad, but the act itself that is. And this is precisely why only “my baby” that could have “shot me down.” For, it is an act that is from beyond, a sheer act of madness that—as Plato warns us—is whispered into our ears (and can so easily be mistaken for inspiration, and even wisdom), an act that can both seize, and cease, us at the same time. And what can this utter openness to an other, the other, be but a moment of love, a true ‘falling in love’. At the moment of whispering, nothing can be known as we are babies as our baby shoots us down …. Hence, all attempts at analyzing this event (including this one) are not only futile, but border on the farcical. The real tragedy is that we forget that all of us have the possibility of becoming Breivik. NOTES Jean Baudrillard. In the Shadow of the Silent Majorities . Trans. Paul Foss, John Johnston, Paul Patton, & Andrew Berardini. Los Angeles: Semiotext(e), 2007. p. 37. Slavoj Žižek. Violence: Six Sideway Reflections . London: Profile Books, 2009. p. 34 Ibid: 35-36. Boris Johnson. “ Anders Breivik: There is nothing to study in the mind of Norway’s mass killer .” The Telegraph . (25 July, 2011): Slavoj Žižek. Violence: Six Sideway Reflections . London: Profile Books, 2009. p.39. What is killing us is the notion that Breivik’s act is beyond reason, beyond knowing, outside understanding itself. This is why Boris Johnson’s plea was for us to ignore Breivik as a madman. But to do so, Johnson conflates the notion of the act and the person; the singular and the universal. This is exactly the same gesture as insisting on his sanity: the ‘madman’ is merely the absolute other, one that we are not. Avital Ronell. The Telephone Book: Technology, Schizophrenia, Electric Speech . Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1989: 380. Christopher Fynsk. Infant Figures: The Death of the Infans and Other Scenes of Origin . Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2000.  . (shrink)
Author: Czardybon Barbara Title: THE MARBURG EXPERIENCES OF WŁADYSŁAW TATARKIEWICZ AND BORIS L. PASTERNAK (Doświadczenia marburskie Władysława Tatarkiewicza i Borysa L. Pasternaka) Source: Filo-Sofija year: 2011, vol:.13/14, number: 2011/2-3, pages: 505-520 Keywords: WŁADYSŁAW TATARKIEWICZ, BORIS L. PASTERNAK, HERMANN COHEN, NEO-KANTIAN PHILOSOPHY Discipline: PHILOSOPHY Language: POLISH Document type: ARTICLE Publication order reference (Primary author’s office address): E-mail: www:The article deals with the Marburg studies of Władysław Tatarkiewicz and Boris L. Pasternak, especially with the principles and the research practices prevailing at The (...) Philipps University of Marburg. The main bibliographic sources present the memoirs of Tatarkiewicz. When discussing Pasternak’s activities, plans and thoughts, is used of his Marburg correspondence and his autobiographical prose. The article shows Marburg’s influence on personality and views of both thinkers. There is Tatarkiewicz and Pasternak’s similarity of their experiences. This article takes up the problem of the defensive nature of the Marburg school of neo-Kantian philosophy, i.e. its doctrinal closure. In the case of Tatarkiewicz, his contact with the professors of the University of Marburg was conducived to working on his own, different philosophical outlook. It is surprising that Pasternak’s attitude as an artist was influenced by the Marburg philosophical thought. The Marburg studies have provided him an ease to use the philosophical vocabulary. (shrink)
Starting from the idea that functions are formally similar to actions in that they are described and explained in a similar way, so that both admit of an accordion effect, I turn to Anscombe’s insight that the point of practical reasoning is to render explicit the relation between the different descriptions of an action generated by the accordion effect. The upshot is, roughly, that an item has a function if what it does can be accounted for by functional reasoning. Put (...) differently, a part of a system has a function if what it does is a functional part of what the system does. (shrink)
The aim of Modality and Explanatory Reasoning (MER) is to shed light on metaphysical necessity and the broader class of modal properties to which it belongs. This topic is approached with two goals: to develop a new and reductive analysis of modality, and to understand the purpose and origin of modal thought. I argue that a proper understanding of modality requires us to reconceptualize its relationship to causation and other forms of explanation such as grounding, a relation that connects metaphysically (...) fundamental facts to non-fundamental ones. While many philosophers have tried to give modal analyses of causation and explanation, often in counterfactual terms, I argue that we obtain a more plausible, explanatorily powerful and unified theory if we regard explanation as more fundamental than modality. The function of modal thought is to facilitate a common type of thought experiment – counterfactual reasoning – that allows us to investigate explanatory connections and which is closely related to the controlled experiments of empirical science. Necessity is defined in terms of explanation, and modal facts often reflect underlying facts about explanatory relationships. The study of modal facts is important for philosophy not because these facts are of much metaphysical interest in their own right, but largely because they provide evidence about explanatory connections. (shrink)
By definition, metacognitive processes may monitor or regulate various stages of first-order processing. By combining causal analysis with hypotheses expressed by other authors we derive the theoretical and methodological consequences of this special relation between metacognition and the underlying processes. In particular, we prove that because multiple processing stages may be monitored or regulated and because metacognition may form latent feedback loops, 1) without strong additional causal assumptions, typical measures of metacognitive monitoring or regulation are confounded; 2) without strong additional (...) causal assumptions, typical methods of controlling for first-order task performance (i.e., calibration, staircase, including first-order task performance in a regression analysis, or analyzing correct and incorrect trials separately) not only do not deconfound measures of metacognition but may even introduce bias; 3) that the first two problems cannot be solved by using simple models of decision-making derived from Signal Detection Theory. We conclude the paper by advocating robust methods of discovering properties of latent mechanisms. (shrink)
Boris Kment takes a new approach to the study of modality that emphasises the origin of modal notions in everyday thought. He argues that the concepts of necessity and possibility originate in counterfactual reasoning, which allows us to investigate explanatory connections. Contrary to accepted views, explanation is more fundamental than modality.
I propose a general alethic theory of epistemic risk according to which the riskiness of an agent’s credence function encodes her relative sensitivity to different types of graded error. After motivating and mathematically developing this approach, I show that the epistemic risk function is a scaled reflection of expected inaccuracy. This duality between risk and information enables us to explore the relationship between attitudes to epistemic risk, the choice of scoring rules in epistemic utility theory, and the selection of priors (...) in Bayesian epistemology more generally. (shrink)
The ever-increasing dominance of English within analytic philosophy is an aspect of linguistic globalisation. To assess it, I first address fundamental issues in the philosophy of language. Steering a middle course between linguistic universalism and linguistic relativism, I deny that some languages might be philosophically superior to others, notably by capturing the essential categories of reality. On this background I next consider both the pros and cons of the Anglicisation of philosophy. I shall defend the value of English as a (...) lingua franca, while denying both the feasibility and the desirability of English as the sole universal language of philosophy. Finally I turn to the linguistic inequality in contemporary analytic philosophy. While it does not per se amount to an injustice, there is a need to level the playing field. But the remedy does not lie in linguistic academic sectarianism. Instead, what might be called for are piecemeal measures to reduce explicit and implicit biases against analytic philosophers on the geographic fringes, biases that are only partly connected to the predominance of English. (shrink)
According to the evaluativist theory of bodily pain, the overall phenomenology of a painful experience is explained by attributing to it two types of representational content—an indicative content that represents bodily damage or disturbance, and an evaluative content that represents that condition as bad for the subject. This paper considers whether evaluativism can offer a suitable explanation of aversive auditory phenomenology—the experience of awful noises—and argues that it can only do so by conceding that auditory evaluative content would be guilty (...) of widespread error. Defending such an error-theory, moreover, comes with several explanatory costs. (shrink)
Consciousness can be measured in various ways, but different measures often yield different conclusions about the extent to which awareness relates to performance. Here, we compare five different subjective measures of awareness in the context of an artificial grammar learning task. Participants expressed their subjective awareness of rules using one of five different scales: confidence ratings , post-decision wagering , feeling of warmth , rule awareness , and continuous scale . All scales were equally sensitive to conscious knowledge. PDW, however, (...) was affected by risk aversion, and both RAS and SDS applied different minimal criteria for rule awareness. CR seems to capture the largest range of consciousness, but failed to indicate unconscious knowledge with the guessing criterion. We close by discussing the theoretical implications of scale sensitivity and propose that CR’s unique features enable a finer assessment of subjective states of awareness. (shrink)
We further investigate a divisibility relation on the set of BN ultrafilters on the set of natural numbers. We single out prime ultrafilters (divisible only by 1 and themselves) and establish a hierarchy in which a position of every ultrafilter depends on the set of prime ultrafilters it is divisible by. We also construct ultrafilters with many immediate successors in this hierarchy and find positions of products of ultrafilters.
Approximate coherentism suggests that imperfectly rational agents should hold approximately coherent credences. This norm is intended as a generalization of ordinary coherence. I argue that it may be unable to play this role by considering its application under learning experiences. While it is unclear how imperfect agents should revise their beliefs, I suggest a plausible route is through Bayesian updating. However, Bayesian updating can take an incoherent agent from relatively more coherent credences to relatively less coherent credences, depending on the (...) data observed. Thus, comparative rationality judgments among incoherent agents are unduly sensitive to luck. (shrink)
In this paper, I make a contribution to a naturalistically-minded theory of truthmakers by proposing a solution to the nasty problem of truthmakers for negative truths. After formulating the difficulty, I consider and reject a number of solutions to the problem, including Armstrong's states of affairs of totality, incompatibility accounts, and JC Beall 's polarity view. I then defend the position that absences of truthmakers are real and are responsible for making negative truths true. According to the positive account of (...) absences I offer, absences of contingent states of affairs are causally relevant mind-independent features of the physical world, located within space and time, and capable of being discovered by scientific inquiry. Recognition of the reality of absences strengthens truthmaker theory as a naturalistic metaphysics, as truth and falsity of each and every contingent proposition finds an ontological grounding in some region of the physical universe. (shrink)
Boris Roman Gibhardt, : Denkfigur Rhythmus. Probleme und Potenziale des Rhythmusbegriffs in den Künsten, Hannover : Wehrhahn Verlag 2020 – ISBN-13 : 978-3-86525-783-3, 240 S. Reviewed in ArtHist.net by Judith Preiß, Tübingen School of Education, Universität Tübingen. Rhythmus scheint auf den ersten Blick zu den Begriffen zu zählen, mit denen sich zeitliche und formale Aspekte ästhetischer Phänomene relativ unproblematisch beschreiben lassen. Wenig - Recensions.
Im 2009 erschienenen Buch "Philosophie des Leidens" versucht Boris Wandruszka, jene immanente Lebensstruktur und Lebensdynamik aufzudecken, die zu den einfachsten und fundamentalen Strukturmomenten des Leidens vorstosst; diese erste "Wissenschaft vom Leiden" transzendierte daher nicht die Grenzen der Anschaubarkeit, sondern verblieb in der "Immanenz des 'inneren Lebens' bzw. des Erlebens". Im aktuellen Buch "Metaphysik des Leidens" werden die "realen Bedingungen der Moglichkeit von Leiden" ermittelt: Wie muss eine Welt beschaffen sein, damit darin ein leidendes Wesen erscheinen konne? Welche Rolle hat das (...) Leiden in Bezug zum fundamentalen Widerfahrnis-, Resonanz- und Responsivitatscharakter des Lebens? Es wird gezeigt, dass menschliches Leben, das einer plural-agonalen Welt ausgesetzt ist, nicht leidfrei moglich ist, dass aber andererseits das Leid nicht das letzte Wort sein kann, sondern notwendig auf Ganzheit, Reifung, Erlosung und Harmonie bezogen ist. Nur auf dem Hintergrund der Spannung zwischen absoluter Seins-, Sinn- und Lebensfulle und der stets problematischen und fragilen Teilhabe von Menschen am "absoluten und leiduberwindenden Urleben" kann Leiden entstehen, durchlitten, verstanden, aber auch uberwunden werden. Hier erreicht der "Opfergedanke", in dem das unvermeidliche Leid frei angenommen und dadurch transformiert wird, seine reinste und hochste Ausformung. Erst nach Klarung dieser Verhaltnisse wird die "Theodizeefrage" als "das Problem der Probleme" angegangen und am Leitfaden der Hiob-Erzahlung diskutiert. Letztlich erweist sich, dass trotz allem Schmerz, Mangel, Unrecht und Unsinn ein "Potential des Unendlichen" im Leiden verborgen liegt, das auf seine Uberwindung durch Sein-, Sinn- und Werterfullung, durch Tat, Erkenntnis und Liebe verweist und dass diese drei "Machte" der Leidensherausforderung bedurfen, um ihre Weite, Tiefe und Hohe auszuloten. (shrink)
While there are satisfactory answers to the question "How to teach children mathematics?", there are no satisfactory answers to the question "Which mathematics to teach children?". This paper provides an answer to the last question for preschool children, although the answer is also applicable to older children. This answer, together with an appropriate methodology on how to teach mathematics, gives a clear conception of the place of mathematics in the children’s world and our role in helping children develop their mathematical (...) abilities. From the point of view of this conception, the standards established today are limiting and too focused on numbers and geometric figures: these topics are too prominent and elaborated, and other mathematical contents are subordinated to them. Adhering to the standards, we drastically limit the mathematics of the child's world, hamper the correct mathematical development of a child, and we can turn her away from mathematics. (shrink)
Analysing several characteristic mathematical models: natural and real numbers, Euclidean geometry, group theory, and set theory, I argue that a mathematical model in its final form is a junction of a set of axioms and an internal partial interpretation of the corresponding language. It follows from the analysis that (i) mathematical objects do not exist in the external world: they are our internally imagined objects, some of which, at least approximately, we can realize or represent; (ii) mathematical truths are not (...) truths about the external world but specifications (formulations) of mathematical conceptions; (iii) mathematics is first and foremost our imagined tool by which, with certain assumptions about its applicability, we explore nature and synthesize our rational cognition of it. (shrink)
We construct and study structures imitating the field of complex numbers with exponentiation. We give a natural, albeit non first-order, axiomatisation for the corresponding class of structures and prove that the class has a unique model in every uncountable cardinality. This gives grounds to conjecture that the unique model of cardinality continuum is isomorphic to the field of complex numbers with exponentiation.
Attentional bias is assumed to be partly responsible for the onset and maintenance of anxiety by major cognitive theories of emotional disorders. Although much is already known about the therapeutic effects of attentional bias training, only a few studies have examined the mechanism responsible for these effects. In order to test if low-level, cognitive effects of attentional bias training depend on attentional control, 73 participants, who completed the STAI-x2 and the ACS questionnaires, were randomly assigned to a control or attentional (...) training group. The attentional manipulation was followed by a search task, during which novel neutral or negative faces could be presented within an array of all-neutral, all-negative or all-positive faces. It was found that individuals with higher ACS score displayed stronger attentional training effects, i.e., they were less accurate in detecting distinctive negative faces, and this effect was not found to be associated with STAI-x2 score. These results show that there is individual variability even in immediate, cognitive effects of attentional bias modification and that special abilities, such as attentional control, might be required for attentional training to be efficient. (shrink)
Seen through the eyes of filmmaker David Teboul—who completed a documentary about the artist in 2010—Boris Mikhailov: I’ve Been Here Before offers an overview of Ukrainian photographer Boris Mikhailov’s career. One of the most important artists to have emerged from the former Soviet Union, Mikhailov has for more than thirty years taken photographs that engage with the idea of the individual in the public sphere, as well as the breakup of the Soviet Union and its many human casualties. Extensively illustrated (...) with stills from Teboul’s film, the book also includes transcripts of Mikhailov’s discussions with Teboul, in which he provides insight into both his work and, more generally, the life of an artist in the Soviet Union before and after its fall. This volume brings back into focus Mikhailov’s beautifully crafted and often melancholy body of work which was relatively unknown prior to the Soviet Union’s collapse. (shrink)
W.E.B. Du Bois’s elegy for his infant son, “Of the Passing of the First-Born,” in The Souls of Black Folk, has received relatively scant attention from political theorists. Yet it illuminates crucial developments in Du Bois’s political thought. It memorializes a tragedy central to his turn from scientific facts to rhetorical appeals to emotion. Its rhetoric also exemplifies a broader tension in his writings, between masculinist and elitist commitments and more insurrectionary impulses. In its normalizing rhetorical mode, which dominates, the (...) elegy depicts an idealized patriarchal bourgeois household—potentially eliciting white readers’ sympathetic identification, but failing to displace the gendered and classed logic of racial exclusion. Its moments of transgressive rhetoric complicate or refuse such identification, celebrating Burghardt’s racial impurity and invoking a lineage of black maternal ambivalence. Though each is vexed and ephemeral, these moments of transgressive rhetoric reveal countervailing impulses that Du Bois would articulate in later writings. (shrink)
This text was already published in German Quarterly, 1 April 2010. We thank Bruno Duarte for letting us know about its existence. Boris Previsic, Hölderlins Rhythmus : Ein Handbuch, Frankfurt/Main, Stroemfeld, 2008, 320 p. Following an inductive approach, rather than advancing a set of claims, the primary ambition of the present study is a practical one : to create a « handbook » for the rhythmical analysis of Hölderlin's poetry by describing rhythmical features of individual poems. The - Recensions.