Listen to the interview with Brian Kemple... and learn to appreciate the diachronic trajectory of semiotics. *** Live interview with Brian Kemple, Executive Director of the Lyceum Institute, to discuss the legacy and influence of John Deely, the thinker most responsible for developing semiotics into the 21st century. This interview, conducted by William Passarini and Tim Troutman, is part of the preliminary activities of the 2022 International Open Seminar on Semiotics: a Tribute to John Deely on the Fifth (...) Anniversary of His Passing, cooperatively organized by the Institute for Philosophical Studies of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities of the University of Coimbra, the Lyceum Institute, the Deely Project, Saint Vincent College, the Iranian Society for Phenomenology at the Iranian Political Science Association, the International Association for Semiotics of Space and Time, the Institute for Scientific Information on Social Sciences of the Russian Academy of Sciences, the Semiotic Society of America, the American Maritain Association, the International Association for Semiotic Studies, the International Society for Biosemiotic Studies, the International Center for Semiotics and Intercultural Dialogue, Moscow State Academic University for the Humanities and the Mansarda Acesa with the support of the FCT - Foundation for Science and Technology, I.P., of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Higher Education of the Government of Portugal under the UID/FIL/00010/2020 project. Brian Kemple holds a PhD in Philosophy from the University of St. Thomas, in Houston TX, where he wrote his dissertation under the inimitable John Deely. He is the Founder and Executive Director of the Lyceum Institute. Philosophical interests and areas of study include: Thomas Aquinas, John Poinsot, Charles Peirce, Martin Heidegger, the history and importance of semiotics, scholasticism, phenomenology; as well as ancillary interests in the liberal arts, technology, and education as a moral habit. He has published two scholarly books— 'Ens Primum Cognitum in Thomas Aquinas and the Tradition' and 'The Intersections of Semiotics and Phenomenology: Peirce and Heidegger in Dialogue', as well as a number of scholarly articles, popular articles, and his own 'Introduction to Philosophical Principles: Logic, Physics, and the Human Person' and the forthcoming 'Linguistic Signification: A Classical Course in Grammar and Composition'. In addition to being the Executive Director of the Lyceum Institute, he is the Executive Editor of 'Reality: a Journal for Philosophical Discourse'. *** Technical support was assured by Robert Junqueira and the cover image for the video was designed by Zahra Soltani. (shrink)
Espen Hammer’s exceptionally fine book explores modern temporality, its problems and prospects. Hammer claims that how people experience time is a cultural/historical phenomenon, and that there is a peculiarly modern way of experiencing time as a series of present moments each indefinitely leading to the next in an ordered way. Time as measured by the clock is the paradigmatic instance of this sense of time. In this perspective time is quantifiable and forward-looking, and the present is dominated by the future. (...) Hammer argues that this manner of experiencing time provides a way of living that brings with it not only the basis for great successes in technology, but also great costs—specifically, what he calls the problems of transience and of meaning. Hammer goes about his task by considering the ways some of the great modern philosophers have characterized present-day temporality and have responded to the problems he has identified. Specifically, he considers what Kant, Hegel, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Habermas, Bloch, and Adorno provide in response to our peculiarly modern predicaments. The book is remarkable for its clarity and perceptiveness, but in the process in crucial places it simplifies the matters at hand or fails to push its insights as far as it ought, and in the end promises more than it can deliver. In this it betrays a rationalist confidence in the power of reason that founders on what in many ways remains a mystery. (shrink)
A healthy, growing field such as the philosophy of biology deserves to have a variety of different points of entry for students, instructors, and non-specialist academics who want to learn about the field. Among the many new books that introduce this dynamic area of research, Garvey's Philosophy of Biology may provide the most compact and accessible survey of the field. After explaining Darwin's theory of evolution, he offers four chapters about contemporary issues in evolutionary theory. The middle chapters concern key (...) concepts in biology: innateness, function, and species. The final four chapters examine how evolutionary biology might influence our perspectives on epistemology, ethics, religion, and human nature.Acquaintances occasionally ask me to recommend a book that introduces the field in layman's terms. Until recently, I didn't have a good answer. The standard textbooks by Sober and Sterelny & Griffiths are good for classroom use but are too demanding for casual reading. Thus, I was intrigued when the jacket blurb described Garvey's book as ‘suitable …. (shrink)
In the preface to his book God the Problem , Gordon Kaufman writes ‘Although the notion of God as agent seems presupposed by most contemporary theologians … Austin Farrer has been almost alone in trying to specify carefully and consistently just what this might be understood to mean.’.
In ‘The ethics of belief and Christian faith as commitment to assumptions’, Rik Peels attacks the views that I advanced in ‘Christianity and the ethics of belief’. Here, I rebut his criticisms of the claim that it is wrong to believe without sufficient evidence, of the contention that Christians are committed to that claim, and of the notion of that faith is not belief but commitment to assumptions in the hope of salvation. My original conclusions still stand.
William Hasker replies to my arguments against Social Trinitarianism, offers some criticism of my own view, and begins a sketch of another account of the Trinity. I reply with some defence of my own theory and some questions about his.
I am grateful to Alan Madry and Joel Richeimer for their intelligent and stimulating critique of my article “Heidegger and the Theory of Adjudication.” It is the most interesting commentary I have seen on the paper, and I have learned much from it. It may facilitate discussion, and advance debate, to state with some clarity where exactly we agree and disagree. I leave to the footnotes discussion of certain minor points where Madry and Richeimer are guilty of some critical overreaching.
In teaching jurisprudence, I typically distinguish between two different families of theories of adjudication—theories of how judges do or should decide cases. “Formalist” theories claim that the law is “rationally” determinate, that is, the class of legitimate legal reasons available for a judge to offer in support of his or her decision justifies one and only one outcome either in all cases or in some significant and contested range of cases ; and adjudication is thus “autonomous” from other kinds of (...) reasoning, that is, the judge can reach the required decision without recourse to nonlegal normative considerations of morality or political philosophy. I also note that “formalism” is sometimes associated with the idea that judicial decision-making involves nothing more than mechanical deduction on the model of the syllogism—Beccaria, for example, expresses such a view. I call the latter “Vulgar Formalism” to emphasize that it is not a view to which anyone today cares to subscribe. (shrink)
As the author of Justice as Impartiality, I am not ashamed to admit that I was delighted by the liveliness of the discussion generated by it at the meeting on which this symposium is based. I am likewise grateful to the six authors for finding the book worthy of the careful attention that they have bestowed on it. Between them, the symposiasts take up many more points than I can cover in this response. I shall therefore focus on some themes (...) that cluster round the contractual device that I associate with the notion of justice as impartiality. Is it necessary? If it is not necessary is it nevertheless useful? Within an overall contractual framework is the form of contract that I propose uniquely justifiable? And does the form of contract that I defend generate the implications that I claim for it? (shrink)
In _Couplets_, Brian Massumi presents twenty-four essays that represent the full spectrum of his work during the past thirty years. Conceived as a companion volume to _Parables for the Virtual_, _Couplets_ addresses the key concepts of _Parables_ from different angles and contextualizes them, allowing their stakes to be more fully felt. Rather than organizing the essays chronologically or by topic, Massumi pairs them into couplets to encourage readers to make connections across conventional subject matter categories, to encounter disjunctions, and (...) to link different phases in the evolution of his work. In his analyses of topics ranging from art, affect, and architecture to media theory, political theory, and the philosophy of experience, Massumi charts a field on which a family of conceptual problems plays out in ways that bear on the potentials for acting and perceiving the world. As an essential guide to Massumi's oeuvre, _Couplets_ is both a primer for his new readers and a supplemental resource for those already engaged with his thought. (shrink)
Although the body has been the focus of much contemporary cultural theory, the models that are typically applied neglect the most salient characteristics of embodied existence—movement, affect, and sensation—in favor of concepts derived from linguistic theory. In _Parables for the Virtual_ Brian Massumi views the body and media such as television, film, and the Internet, as cultural formations that operate on multiple registers of sensation beyond the reach of the reading techniques founded on the standard rhetorical and semiotic models. (...) Renewing and assessing William James’s radical empiricism and Henri Bergson’s philosophy of perception through the filter of the post-war French philosophy of Deleuze, Guattari, and Foucault, Massumi links a cultural logic of variation to questions of movement, affect, and sensation. If such concepts are as fundamental as signs and significations, he argues, then a new set of theoretical issues appear, and with them potential new paths for the wedding of scientific and cultural theory. Replacing the traditional opposition of literal and figural with new distinctions between stasis and motion and between actual and virtual, _Parables for the Virtual _tackles related theoretical issues by applying them to cultural mediums as diverse as architecture, body art, the digital art of Stelarc, and Ronald Reagan’s acting career. The result is an intriguing combination of cultural theory, science, and philosophy that asserts itself in a crystalline and multi-faceted argument. _Parables for the Virtual_ will interest students and scholars of continental and Anglo-American philosophy, cultural studies, cognitive science, electronic art, digital culture, and chaos theory, as well as those concerned with the “science wars” and the relation between the humanities and the sciences in general. (shrink)
Human beings are peculiar. In laboratory experiments, they often cooperate in one-shot prisoners’ dilemmas, they frequently offer 1/2 and reject low offers in the ultimatum game, and they often bid 1/2 in the game of divide-the-cake All these behaviors are puzzling from the point of view of game theory. The first two are irrational, if utility is measured in a certain way.1 The last isn’t positively irrational, but it is no more rational than other possible actions, since there are infinitely (...) many other Nash equilibria besides the one in which both players bid 1/2. At the same time, these behaviors seem to indicate that people are sometimes inclined to be cooperative, fair, and just. In his stimulating new book, Brian Skyrms sets himself the task of showing why these inclinations evolved, or how they might have evolved, under the pressure of natural selection. The goal is not to justify our ethical intuitions, but to explain why we have them.2.. (shrink)
The relation between the Greek and Judeo-Christian traditions is "the great problem" of Western philosophy, according to Emmanuel Levinas. In this book Brian Schroeder, Silvia Benso, and an international group of philosophers address the relationship between Levinas and the world of ancient thought. In addition to philosophy, themes touching on religion, mythology, metaphysics, ontology, epistemology, ethics, and politics are also explored. The volume as a whole provides a unified and extended discussion of how an engagement between Levinas and thinkers (...) from the ancient tradition works to enrich understandings of both. This book opens new pathways in ancient and modern philosophical studies as it illuminates new interpretations of Levinas' ethics and his social and political philosophy. (shrink)
What does an Alaskan look like? When asked to visualize someone from Alaska, the image most people conjure up is one of a face lost in a parka, surrounded by snow. Missing from this image is the vibrant diversity of those who call themselves Alaskans, as well as the true essence of the place. Brian Adams, a rising star in photography, aims to change all this with his captivating new collection, I Am Alaskan. In this full-color tribute, Adams entices (...) us to reconsider our ideas of this unique and compelling land and its equally individual residents. He captures subjects on urban streets and in rural villages, revealing what daily life in Alaska is really like. The portraits focus on moments both ordinary and extraordinary, serious and playful, while capturing Alaskans at their most natural. Subjects range from Alaska Native villagers to rarely seen portraits of famous Alaskans, including Sarah Palin, Vic Fischer, and Lance Mackey. Through photographs, Adams also explores his own half-Iñupiat, half-American Alaska identity in the process, revealing how he came to define himself and the state in which he lives. Frame by frame, Adams powerfully and honestly shows what it means to be an Alaskan. (shrink)
Takes us through a daringly comprehensive argument ... the simplicity and sheer readability of his writing and the lucidity and humaneness of his overall position deserve, and will attract, one hopes, a wide readership. For Wren, education in justice consists in the development of a critical awareness of ourselves as oppressor or oppressed in the unjust society . He shows us something of what justice might be and why we should aspire to it. He also offers vivid illustration of what (...) injustice and cultural oppression mean in the contemporary world' (Epworth Review). It is a measure of Brian Wren's achievement that he has caused at least one world-weary reader to think again about the possibility of radical and effective political change. His analysis of contemporary institutional oppression and our implication in it, particularly in its damaging effect upon the Third World, is a well-stated repetition of the socialist critique of the use and abuse of power. The new thing here, however, is the tone of the book: there is a calm and loving but utterly piercing description of the pathology of power and the lengths to which we'll all go to justify our share in it' (Church Times). (shrink)
It seems impossible that organisms selected to maximize their genetic legacy could also be moral agents in a world in which taking risks for strangers is sometimes morally laudable. Brian Zamulinski argues that it is possible if morality is an evolutionary by-product rather than an adaptation.Evolutionary Intuitionism presents a new evolutionary theory of human morality. Zamulinski explains the evolution of foundational attitudes, whose relationships to acts constitute moral facts. With foundational attitudes and the resulting moral facts in place, he (...) shows how they ground a plausible normative morality, give answers to meta-ethical questions, and provide an account of moral motivation. He explains the nature of moral intuitions and, thus, of our access to the moral facts. He shows that the theory makes confirmed empirical predictions, including the observable variation in moral views. The combination of intuitionism and evolutionary ethics enables Zamulinski to overcome the standard objections to both.Evolutionary Intuitionism is a unified theory of human morality that explains how an objective morality could develop naturally in a physical world like ours, among organisms like us. (shrink)
This concise and penetrating analysis introduces students to the life and thought of one of the giants of twentieth-century French intellectual life. Portraying Raymond Aron as a great defender of reason, moderation, and political sobriety in an era dominated by ideological fervor and philosophical fashion, Brian Anderson demonstrates the centrality of political reason to Aron's philosophy of history, his critique of ideological thinking, his meditations on the perennial problems of peace and war, and the nature of conservative liberalism.
In this extraordinary tribute to the importance of the ordinary places in our lives, fifty-two Minnesotans write about the special, sometimes secret, places that give their lives meaning. For some it is their home or cabin or lake. For others, it's a family farm or neighbourhood park, a backyard garden or north woods trail: all places where we find a personal and spiritual connection to the land. VOICES FOR THE LAND explores this complex relationship by linking these personal essays with (...) striking images captured by award-winning photographer Brian Peterson. This marriage of words, images, and landscape provides a powerful reminder of our deep and abiding connection to the land. The writers share the experience of these favourite places through their senses, from the aching tingle of a cold winter night and the sound of ice 'singing' to the buzz of mosquitoes and the acrid smell of burning peat. The Voices for the Land project, organised by the non-profit group 1000 Friends of Minnesota, encouraged Minnesotans to write about the land they love and to fight for its preservation. The Minneapolis Star Tribune published a selection of these essays, paired with Brian Peterson's photos, in an award-winning series. VOICES FOR THE LAND brings these essays and photos together in book form for the first time. (shrink)
Brian Loar argues that we can account for the conceptual independence of coextensive terms purely psychologically, by appealing to conceptual rather than semantic differences between concepts, and that this leaves room for assuming that phenomenal and physical concepts can be coextensive on a posteriori grounds despite the fact that both sorts of concepts refer directly . I argue that Loar does not remove the mystery of the coextensiveness of those concepts because he does not offer any explanation of why (...) they should be coextensive. Secondly, I argue that even if we grant that phenomenal and physical concepts can be coextensive on a posteriori grounds, we are committed to holding that there are two different and essential modes of presentation of phenomenal properties, the physical and the phenomenal, and that this precludes us from seeing phenomenal properties as essentially physical in an unrelativized sense. (shrink)
Pollard, Brian The extreme difficulties in attempting to make safe euthanasia law, with an argument of treatment in case of patients who can ask for death to escape from pain and patients who are not in a position to ask, are documented. Published findings of five large inquiries into the issue show that it would not be possible to make such law without endangering the lives of some of those who did not want to die.
Following the critically acclaimed _Zen at War_, Brian Victoria explores the intimate relationship between Japanese institutional Buddhism and militarism during the Second World War. Victoria reveals for the first time, through examination of the wartime writings of the Japanese military itself, that the Zen school's view of life and death was deliberately incorporated into the military's programme of 'spiritual education' in order to develop a fanatical military spirit in both soldiers and civilians. Furthermore, that D. T. Suzuki, the most (...) famous exponent of Zen in the West, is shown to have been a wartime proponent of this Zen-inspired viewpoint which enabled Japanese soldiers to leave for the battlefield already resigned to death. Victoria takes us onto the naval battlefield in the company of warrior-monk and Rinzai Zen Master Nakajima Genjô. We view the war in China through the eyes of a Buddhist military chaplain. The book also examines the relationship to Buddhism of Japan's seven Class-A war criminals who were hung by the Tokyo War Crimes Tribunal in 1948. A highly controversial study, this book will be of interest, first and foremost, to students of Zen as well as all those studying the history of this period, not to mention anyone concerned with the perennial question of the 'proper' relationship between religion and the state. (shrink)
Among politicians and policy-makers it is almost universally assumed that more transparency in government is better. Until now, philosophers have almost completely ignored the topic of transparency, and when it is discussed there seems to be an assumption that increased transparency is a good thing, which results in no serious attempt to justify it. In this book Brian Kogelmann shows that the standard narrative is false and that many arguments in defence of transparency are weak. He offers a comprehensive (...) philosophical analysis of transparency in government, examining both abstract normative defences of transparency, and transparency's role in the theory of institutional design. His book shows that even when the arguments in favour of transparency are compelling, the costs associated with it are just as forceful as the original arguments themselves, and that strong arguments can be made in defence of more opaque institutions. (shrink)
One of the most pressing concerns for contemporary society is the issue of violence and the factors that promote it. In ____Altared Ground: Levinas, History and Violence__ Brian Schroeder stages an engagement between Emmanuel Levinas, one of the leading figures in 20th century Continental philosophy, and Plato, Hegel, Heidegger, Nietzsche, Merleau-Ponty, Derrida and others in the history of ideas. Not merely an exposition of Levinas' original and complex thinking, Brian Schroeder seeks to re-read the history of Western philosophy (...) and religion by going beyond Levinas' alternatives to traditional theories of the self in order to suggest a notion of subjectivity that is not grounded in violence. (shrink)
Brian Goodwin, author of How the Leopard Changed Its Spots, argues for a view of nature as complex, interrelated networks of relationships. He proposes that, in order for us to once again work with nature to achieve true sustainability on our planet, we need to adopt a new science, new art, new design, new economies and new patterns of responsibility. We must be willing to pay nature its due: to recognize what we owe to the natural world and resist (...) exploiting it solely for our own ends. (shrink)
Brian C. Ribeiro’s _Sextus, Montaigne, Hume: Pyrrhonizers_ invites us to view the Pyrrhonist tradition as involving all those who share a commitment to the activity of Pyrrhonizing and develops fresh, provocative readings of Sextus, Montaigne, and Hume as radical Pyrrhonizing skeptics.
In _A Theory of Regret_ Brian Price contends that regret is better understood as an important political emotion than as a form of weakness. Price shows how regret allows us to see that our convictions are more often the products of our perceptual habits than the authentic signs of moral courage that we more regularly take them to be. Regret teaches us to give up our expectations of what we think should or might occur in the future, and also (...) the idea that what we think we should do will always be the right thing to do. Understood instead as a mode of thoughtfulness, regret helps us to clarify our will in relation to the decisions we make within institutional forms of existence. Considering regret in relation to emancipatory theories of thinking, Price shows how the unconditionally transformative nature of this emotion helps us become more sensitive to contingency and allows us, in turn, to recognize the steps we can take toward changing the institutions that shape our lives. (shrink)
Augustine's philosophy of life involves mediation, reviewing one's past and exercises for self-improvement. Centuries after Plato and before Freud he invented a 'spiritual exercise' in which every man and woman is able, through memory, to reconstruct and reinterpret life's aims. In this 2010 book, Brian Stock examines Augustine's unique way of blending literary and philosophical themes. He proposes a new interpretation of Augustine's early writings, establishing how the philosophical soliloquy has emerged as a mode of inquiry and how it (...) relates to problems of self-existence and self-history. The book also provides clear analysis of inner dialogue and discourse, and how, as inner dialogue complements and finally replaces outer dialogue, a style of thinking emerges, arising from ancient sources and a religious attitude indebted to Judeo-Christian tradition. (shrink)
The Cosmographia of Bernard Silvester was the most important literary myth written between Lucretius and Dante. One of the most widely read books of its time, it was known to authors whose interests were as diverse as those of Vincent of Beauvais, Dante, and Chaucer. Bernard offers one of the most profound versions of a familiar theme in medieval literature, that of man as a microcosm of the universe, with nature as the mediating element between God and the world. (...) class='Hi'>Brian Stock's exposition includes many passages from the Cosmographia translated for the first time into English. Arising from the central analysis are several more general themes: among them the recreation by twelfth-century humanists of the languages of myth and science as handed down in the classical tradition; the creation of the world and of man, the chief mythical and cosmographical problem of the period; the development of naturalistic allegory; and Bernard's relation to the "new science" introduced from Greek and Arabic sources. Originally published in 1972. The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These paperback editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905. (shrink)
On the Origin of Objects is the culmination of Brian Cantwell Smith's decade-long investigation into the philosophical and metaphysical foundations of computation, artificial intelligence, and cognitive science. Based on a sustained critique of the formal tradition that underlies the reigning views, he presents an argument for an embedded, participatory, "irreductionist," metaphysical alternative. Smith seeks nothing less than to revise our understanding not only of the machines we build but also of the world with which they interact. Smith's ambitious project (...) begins as a search for a comprehensive theory of computation, able to do empirical justice to practice and conceptual justice to the computational theory of mind. A rigorous commitment to these two criteria ultimately leads him to recommend a radical overhaul of our traditional conception of metaphysics. Everything that exists -- objects, properties, life, practice -- lies Smith claims in the "middle distance," an intermediate realm of partial engagement with and partial separation from, the enveloping world. Patterns of separation and engagement are taken to underlie a single notion unifying representation and ontology: that of subjects' "registration" of the world around them. Along the way, Smith offers many fascinating ideas: the distinction between particularity and individuality, the methodological notion of an "inscription error," an argument that there are no individuals within physics, various deconstructions of the type-instance distinction, an analysis of formality as overly disconnected ("discreteness run amok"), a conception of the boundaries of objects as properties of unruly interactions between objects and subjects, an argument for the theoretical centrality of reference preservation, and a theatrical, acrobatic metaphor for the contortions involved in the preservation of reference and resultant stabilization of objects. Sidebars and diagrams throughout the book help clarify and guide Smith's highly original and compelling argument. A Bradford Book. (shrink)