The crisis of the belief -nowadays considered native- in the possibility of getting rid of our own concepts, or prejudces, and gaining a more of less immediate access to, achieving a more or less transparent insight in, those cultures alien to us pushed anthropologists ot begin to explore in the very conditions of possibility of the anthropological discuorse itself. Thus, the same series of transformations that undermined many evident, opened also new horizons of enquire paving the way to a process (...) of growing self-reflectiveness of the discipline. This process is particularly noticeable in the United States, where theoretical anthropology has had a vertiginous development in the last two decades in connection with the development of what is known as «postgeertzian anthropology». The present article outlines the different stages through which theoretical anthropology crossed in North America in its attempt to make sense of its own epistemic and institutional conditions of possibility, as well as the diverse problems that in the distinct phases of this development it faced. (shrink)
Recently, a call for the “return of the subject” has gained increasing influence. The power of this call is intimately linked to the assumption that there is a necessary connection between “the subject” and politics . Without a subject, it is alleged, there can be no agency, and therefore no emancipatory projects—and, thus, no history. This paper discusses the precise epistemological foundations for this claim. It shows that the idea of a necessary link between “the subject” and agency, and therefore (...) between the subject and politics is only one among many different ones that appeared in the course of the four centuries that modernity spans. It has precise historico-intellectual premises, ones that cannot be traced back in time before the end of the nineteenth century. Failing to observe the historicity of the notion of the subject, and projecting it as a kind of universal category, results, as we shall see, in serious incongruence and anachronisms. The essay outlines a definite view of intellectual history aimed at recovering the radically contingent nature of conceptual formations, which, it alleges, is the still-valid core of Foucault’s archeological project. Regardless of the inconsistencies in his own archeological endeavors, his archeological approach intended to establish in intellectual history a principle of temporal irreversibility immanent in it. Following his lead, the essay attempts to discern the different meanings the category of the subject has historically acquired, referring them back to the broader epistemic reconfigurations that have occurred in Western thought. This reveals a richness of meanings in this category that are obliterated under the general label of the “modern subject”; at the same time, it illuminates some of the methodological problems that mar current debates on the topic. (shrink)
Mi propósito en este trabajo es reconsiderar una de las lecturas más relevantes y provocativas que se han hecho sobre John Dewey en el mundo de habla hispana. En la primera parte reconstruyo las circunstancias que rodearon la difusión, interpretación y traducción de las obras de Dewey en el México de mediados de los años 1940, y en concreto las razones que llevaron a que la visión sociológica que José Medina Echavarría quiso dar de Dewey fuera finalmente desplazada por la (...) filosófica de José Gaos. En la segunda parte analizo la traducción y lectura que Gaos hizo de Experience and Nature de Dewey, teniendo muy presente sus comparaciones con Sein und Zeit de Heidegger . Finalmente, propongo algunas críticas a la visión que Gaos transmite de Dewey como un pensador carente de un tipo de "soberbia diabólica" propia de la verdadera gran filosofía. The purpose of this work is a reconsideration of one of the most relevant and provocative readings of John Dewey written in the Hispanic World. In the first part I reconstruct the circumstances which surrounded the publicity, interpretation and translation of John Dewey's works in the Mexico of the middle 1940's, particularly the reasons why the sociological reading of Dewey that José Medina Echavarría proposed was finally displaced by the metaphysic perspective of José Gaos. In the second part I reconsider Gaos' own translation and interpretation of Experience and Nature, taking in consideration his comparisons with Heidegger's Sein und Zeit . Finally I analyze critically Gaos' view of Dewey as a thinker whose philosophy lacked the "diabolical arrogance" that true great philosophy would seem to require. (shrink)
As soon as 'modernity' was defined as a particular way of con ceiving of time, the questions of tempo rality came to be situated at the heart of the ongoing debate regarding the legitimacy or illegitimacy of the 'modern age'. This has, in turn, readily led to a no less passionate search for the assessment of modernity's foundations which are thought to rest in its typical sense of experiencing temporality. This polemic instance, however, involves polarized perspectives and the consequent risk, (...) always present in dichotomous approaches, of oversimplifying the concepts at stake and smoothing over the intricacies of their history and meaning. Does there really exist something like a ' time of modernity'? This is the central question that the present article examines. 1 Key Words: evolution • modemity • philosophy of history • time irreversibility. (shrink)
How is it that the nation became an object of scholarly research? As this article intends to show, not until what we call the "genealogical view" eroded away could the nation be subjected to critical scrutiny by historians. The starting point and the premise for studies in the field was the revelation of the blind spot in the genealogical view, that is, the discovery of the "modern" and "constructed" character of nations. Historians' views would thus be intimately tied to the (...) "antigenealogical" perspectives of them. However, this antigenealogical view would eventually reveal its own blind spots. This paper traces the different stages of reflection on the nation, and how the antigenealogical approach would finally be rendered problematic, exposing, in turn, its own internal fissures. (shrink)
The origins of the evolutionary concept of history have normally been associated with the development of an organicist notion of society. The meaning of this notion, in turn, has been assumed as something perfectly established and clear, almost self-evident. This assumption has prevented any close scrutiny of it. As this article tries to show, the idea of "organism" that underlies the emergence of the evolutionary concept of history, far from being "self-evident," has an intricate history and underwent a number of (...) radical and successive redefinitions from the mid-eighteenth century up to approximately 1830 . More specifically, this paper traces some of these transformations in order to contextualize and shed some new light on Herder's philosophy of history and the complex process of its inception-a process that was not concluded by the end of his intellectual career. As the article shows, Herder did not actually succeed in solving some key problems involved in an evolutionary concept of history. The difficulties he found were analogous to those that emerged at that very moment in the development of a dynamic, ontogenetical theory , and both were ultimately linked to the combination of some uneven developments produced in the natural sciences of that time. Herder's philosophy of history thus appears as a paradoxical case of a system of thought that formulates problems which it is still radically unable to solve, lacking the tools to devise a possible solution for them. (shrink)
Recently, the diffusion of the so-called “new intellectual history” led to the dismissal of the old school of the “history of ideas” on the basis of its ahistorical nature . This formulation is actually misleading, missing the core of the transformation produced in the field. It is not true that the history of ideas simply ignored the fact that the meaning of ideas changes over time. The issue at stake here is really not how ideas changed , but rather why (...) they do. The study of the German tradition of intellectual history serves in this essay as a basis to illustrate the meaning and significance of the recent turn from ideas as its object. In the process of trying to account for the source of contingency of conceptual formations, it will open our horizon to the complex nature of the ways by which we invest the world with meaning. That is, it will disclose the presence of different layers of symbolic reality lying beneath the surface level of “ideas,” and analyze their differential nature and functions. It will also show the reasons for the ultimate failure of the “history of ideas” approach, why discourses can never achieve their vocation to constitute themselves as self-enclosed, rationally integrated systems, thereby expelling contingency from their realm. In sum, it will show why historicity is not merely something that comes to intellectual history from without , as the history of ideas assumed, but is a constitutive dimension of it. (shrink)
We explored the home learning environments of 173 Mexican preschool children in relation to their numeracy performance. Parents indicated the frequency of their formal home numeracy and literacy activities, and their academic expectations for children’s numeracy and literacy performance. Children completed measures of early numeracy skills. Mexican parent–child dyads from families with either high- or low-socioeconomic status participated. Low-SES parents reported higher numeracy expectations than high-SES parents, but similar frequency of home numeracy activities. In contrast, high-SES parents reported higher frequency (...) of literacy activities. Path analyses showed that operational numeracy activities were positively related to children’s numeracy skills in the high- but not in the low-SES group. These findings improve the understanding of the role of the home environment in different contexts and provide some insights into the sources of the variable patterns of relations between home learning activities and children’s numeracy outcomes. They also suggest that SES is a critical factor to consider in research on children’s home numeracy experiences. (shrink)
In the present work, our aim is to emphasize the tensions between the concepts of irony and essay which Lukács uses in The soul and the Forms, and the way in which such concepts were used by Friedrich Schlegel at the end of the 18th. century. With that purpose, we will utilize the categories of "modern episteme" and "episteme of the forms" as they are formulated by Elías Palti. We believe that these categories will allow us to detect certain (...) breaks in the discursive level that remain hidden under the apparent continuity of some topics and make difficult the reading of The soul and the Forms.Nuestro objetivo en el presente trabajo es enfatizar las tensiones que existen entre el uso de los conceptos de ironía y ensayo, que hace Lukács en El Alma y las formas, y el modo en que tales conceptos son empleados por Friedrich Schlegel, a fines del siglo XVIII. A tal efecto nos valdremos de las categorías de episteme moderna y episteme de las formas, tal como son formuladas por Elías Palti. Creemos que es posible, en virtud de ellas, detectar ciertas rupturas a nivel discursivo que permanecen ocultas bajo la aparente continuidad de algunos tópicos y cuyo desconocimiento dificulta la lectura de El alma y las Formas. (shrink)
The three ancient philosophical introductions translated in this volume flesh out our picture of what it would have been like to sit in a first-year Philosophy course in ancient Alexandria. Ammonius (AD 445-517/26) set up a new teaching programme in Alexandria with up to six introductions to the philosophy curriculum, which made it far more accessible, and encouraged its spread from Greek to other cultures. This volume's three introductory texts include one by his student Olympiodorus and one each by Olympiodorus' (...) students Elias and David. Elias' Introductions to Philosophy starts with six definitions of Philosophy, to which David adds replies to the sceptical question whether there is such a thing as Philosophy. Olympiodorus' text translated here is an Introduction to Logic, which is just one of the three introductions he wrote himself. (shrink)
Elias wrote in both English and German, and in all his work runs to 14 books and around 90 other essays, along with poems and numerous interviews. The 18 volumes of the collected works contain many writings not previously published in English, and a small number never published before. All of the texts have thoroughly checked and revised, by editors who have a deep knowledge of Elia's thinking; they have inserted many clarifications, cross-references and explanatory notes.
Abstract:There is a storied history of Native and Indigenous feminisms on Turtle Island (North America). We are fortunate that many of those stories birthed from an ancestral tradition of storytelling and survivance were captured in the canonical feminist anthology This Bridge Called My Back: Writings of Radical Women of Color. In celebration and commemoration of 40 years since This Bridge was first published we visit with three of the books original Native and Indigenous contributors–Chrystos, Max Wolf Valerio, and Jo Carrillo–to (...) recount old as well as new stories as they explore what Native and Indigenous feminisms mean to them and their continued work for Indigenous visibility. The conversation provides a unique intergenerational vision for conceptualizing contemporary Native and Indigenous feminisms all the while building upon the legacy and path set forth by amazing Native and Indigenous women trailblazers. (shrink)
Understanding Elias -- Origins of Elias's synthesis -- Norbert Elias and Karl Mannheim -- The civilizing process : the structure of a classic -- Involved detachment : knowledge and self-knowledge in Elias -- The symbol theory : secular humanism as a research programme -- Concluding remarks : the fourth blow to man's narcissism.
Moses Mendelssohn is often described as the founder of modern Jewish thought and as a leading philosopher of the late Enlightenment. One of Mendelssohn's main concerns was how to conceive of the relationship between Judaism, philosophy, and the civic life of a modern state. Elias Sacks explores Mendelssohn's landmark account of Jewish practice--Judaism's "living script," to use his famous phrase--to present a broader reading of Mendelssohn's writings and extend inquiry into conversations about modernity and religion. By studying Mendelssohn's thought (...) in these dimensions, Sacks suggests that he shows a deep concern with history. Sacks affords a view of a foundational moment in Jewish modernity and forwards new ways of thinking about ritual practice, the development of traditions, and the role of religion in society. (shrink)
Norbert Elias's The Civilizing Process, which was published in German in 1939 and first translated into English in two volumes in 1978 and 1982, is now widely regarded as one of the great works of twentieth-century sociology. This work attempted to explain how Europeans came to think of themselves as more “civilized” than their forebears and neighboring societies. By analyzing books about manners that had been published between the thirteenth and eighteenth centuries, Elias observed changing conceptions of shame (...) and embarrassment with respect to, among other things, bodily propriety and violence. To explain those developments, Elias examined the interplay among the rise of state monopolies of power, increasing levels of economic interconnectedness among people, and pressures to become attuned to others over greater distances that led to advances in identifying with others in the same society irrespective of social origins. Elias's analysis of the civilizing process was not confined, however, to explaining changing social bonds within separate societies. The investigation also focused on the division of Europe into sovereign states that were embroiled in struggles for power and security.This article provides an overview and analysis of Elias's principal claims in the light of growing interest in this seminal work in sociology. The analysis shows how Elias defended higher levels of synthesis in the social sciences to explain relations between “domestic” and “international” developments, and changes in social structure and in the emotional lives of modern people. Elias's investigation, which explained long-term processes of development over several centuries, pointed to the limitations of inquiries that concentrate on short-term intervals. Only by placing short-term trends in long-term perspective could sociologists understand contemporary developments. This article maintains that Elias's analysis of the civilizing process remains an exemplary study of long-term developments in Western societies over the last five centuries. (shrink)
We give a brief overview of the evolution of mathematics, starting from antiquity, through Renaissance, to the 19th century, and the culmination of the train of thought of history’s greatest thinkers that lead to the grand unification of geometry and algebra. The goal of this paper is not a complete formal description of any particular theoretical framework, but to show how extremisation of mathematical rigor in requiring everything be drivable directly from first principles without any arbitrary assumptions actually leads to (...) relaxing the computational difficulty along with maximal conceptual clarity. With this, we consider a revision of the foundations of elementary geometry and algebra based on the work of Grassmann and Clifford and apply it to conceptual and practical problems of past and present modern mathematics and mathematical physics. (shrink)