Wittgenstein übernimmt im Tractatus das Zusammenhangsprinzip von Frege und formuliert die Doktrin von der Priorität des Satzes vor seinen Teilen, den Wörtern. Dies ist die frühste Formulierung kontextualistischen Denkens bei Wittgenstein. In der Spätphilosophie wird das "Sprachspiel" zur sinnkonstituierenden Einheit sprachlicher Kommunikation und damit zum Inbegriff kontextualistischen Denkens beim späten Wittgenstein. Eine Untersuchung der zentralen Begriffe von Wittgensteins Spätphilosophie offenbart starke Verwandtschaft zu Schapps Begriff der "Geschichten". G. Bateson führt den Terminus "Geschichte" in jenem Schappschen Sinne als Prinzip des geistigen (...) Prozesses der Informationsgewinnung bzw. Sinnkonstitution ein. Damit läßt sich über Schapps Phänomenologie der Geschichten eine Brücke von Wittgenstein zu Bateson schlagen und eine bislang unbemerkte Affinität zwischen beiden Denkern aufzeigen. Umgekehrt werden mit dem von Bateson geprägten Begriff der Transkontextualität Phänomene beschreibbar, die Wittgenstein bei der Diskussion mathematischer bzw. logischer Paradoxien behandelt. Demnach sind solche Paradoxien transkontextuelle Phänomene, die in ihrem Sinn unterbestimmt sind, ähnlich dem transkontextuellen Verhalten, das sinnbestimmende Kontexte (Sprachspiele) transzendiert und außerhalb solcher Kontexte als verrückt erscheint. (shrink)
Wittgenstein übernimmt im Tractatus das Zusammenhangsprinzip von Frege und formuliert die Doktrin von der Priorität des Satzes vor seinen Teilen, den Wörtern. Dies ist die frühste Formulierung kontextualistischen Denkens bei Wittgenstein. In der Spätphilosophie wird das "Sprachspiel" zur sinnkonstituierenden Einheit sprachlicher Kommunikation und damit zum Inbegriff kontextualistischen Denkens beim späten Wittgenstein. Eine Untersuchung der zentralen Begriffe von Wittgensteins Spätphilosophie offenbart starke Verwandtschaft zu Schapps Begriff der "Geschichten". G. Bateson führt den Terminus "Geschichte" in jenem Schappschen Sinne als Prinzip des geistigen (...) Prozesses der Informationsgewinnung bzw. Sinnkonstitution ein. Damit läßt sich über Schapps Phänomenologie der Geschichten eine Brücke von Wittgenstein zu Bateson schlagen und eine bislang unbemerkte Affinität zwischen beiden Denkern aufzeigen. Umgekehrt werden mit dem von Bateson geprägten Begriff der Transkontextualität Phänomene beschreibbar, die Wittgenstein bei der Diskussion mathematischer bzw. logischer Paradoxien behandelt. Demnach sind solche Paradoxien transkontextuelle Phänomene, die in ihrem Sinn unterbestimmt sind, ähnlich dem transkontextuellen Verhalten, das sinnbestimmende Kontexte transzendiert und außerhalb solcher Kontexte als verrückt erscheint. (shrink)
Objectives: To analyse and compare the surveys on German doctors and judges on end of life decision making regarding their attitudes on the advance directive and on the dying process.Design: The respondents were to indicate their agreement or disagreement to eight statements on the advance directive and to specify their personal view on the beginning of the dying process.Participants: 727 doctors in three federal states and 469 judges dealing with guardianship matters all over Germany.Main measurements: Comparisons of means, analyses of (...) variance, pivot tables and factor analyses .Results: Three attitude groups on advance directive were disclosed by the analysis: the decision model, which emphasises the binding character of a situational advance directive; the deliberation model, which puts more emphasis on the communicative aspect; and the delegation model, which regards the advance directive as a legal instrument. The answers regarding the beginning of the dying process were broadly distributed, but no marked difference was observed between the responding professions. The dying process was assumed by most participants to begin with a life expectancy of only a few days.Conclusions: A high degree of valuation for advance directive was seen in both German doctors and judges; most agreed to the binding character of the situational directive. Regarding the different individual concepts of the dying process, a cross-professional discourse on the contents of this term seems to be overdue. (shrink)
We are currently seeing a revival of interest in Aquinas's moral thought among Christian ethicists, both Protestant and Catholic. Although recent studies of his moral thought have touched on a number of topics, the majority of these have focused on his account of the virtues and their place in the Christian life. Probing the questions of the relation of virtue and law, the role of reason and will, and the place of the passions in Aquinas's moral theology, I will examine (...) recent studies by Diana Cates, Pamela Hall, Simon Harak, James Keenan, Daniel Nelson, Daniel Westberg, and Paul Waddell. In different ways these studies return us repeatedly to the vexed and unresolved question of the scope of human freedom. (shrink)
Physicians make some medical decisions without disclosure to their patients. Nondisclosure is possible because these are silent decisions to refrain from screening, diagnostic or therapeutic interventions. Nondisclosure is ethically permissible when the usual presumption that the patient should be involved in decisions is defeated by considerations of clinical utility or patient emotional and physical well-being. Some silent decisions - not all - are ethically justified by this standard. Justified silent decisions are typically dependent on the physician's professional judgment, experience and (...) knowledge, and are not likely to be changed by patient preferences. We condemn the inappropriate exclusion of the patient from the decision-making process. However, if a test or treatment is unlikely to yield a net benefit, disclosure and discussion are at times unnecessary. Appropriate silent decisions are ethically justified by such considerations as patient benefit or economy of time. (shrink)
What I plan to do in this paper is to provide a survey of the ways in which Spinoza’s philosophy has been deployed in relation to early modern thought, in the history of ideas and in a number of different domains of contemporary philosophy, and to offer an account of how some of this research has developed. The past decade of research in Spinoza studies has been characterized by a number of tendencies; however, it is possible to identify four main (...) domains that characterize these different lines of research: studies of Spinoza’s individual works, of its problematic concepts, from the point of view of the history of ideas, and comparative studies of Spinoza’s ideas. (shrink)
In Difference and Repetition, Deleuze explores the manner by means of which concepts are implicated in the problematic Idea by using a mathematics problem as an example, the elements of which are the differentials of the differential calculus. What I would like to offer in the present paper is a historical account of the mathematical problematic that Deleuze deploys in his philosophy, and an introduction to the role played by this problematic in the development of his philosophy of difference. One (...) of the points of departure that I will take from the history of mathematics is the theme of ‘power series’ (Deleuze 1994, 114), which will involve a detailed elaboration of the mechanism by means of which power series operate in the differential calculus deployed by Deleuze in Difference and Repetition. Deleuze actually constructs an alternative history of mathematics that establishes a historical continuity between the differential point of view of the infinitesimal calculus and modern theories of the differential calculus. It is in relation to this differential point of view that Deleuze determines a differential logic which he deploys, in the form of a logic of different/ciation, in the development of his project of constructing a philosophy of difference. (shrink)
What role does non-genetic inheritance play in evolution? In recent work we have independently and collectively argued that the existence and scope of non-genetic inheritance systems, including epigenetic inheritance, niche construction/ecological inheritance, and cultural inheritance—alongside certain other theory revisions—necessitates an extension to the neo-Darwinian Modern Synthesis (MS) in the form of an Extended Evolutionary Synthesis (EES). However, this argument has been challenged on the grounds that non-genetic inheritance systems are exclusively proximate mechanisms that serve the ultimate function of calibrating organisms (...) to stochastic environments. In this paper we defend our claims, pointing out that critics of the EES (1) conflate non-genetic inheritance with early 20th-century notions of soft inheritance; (2) misunderstand the nature of the EES in relation to the MS; (3) confuse individual phenotypic plasticity with trans-generational non-genetic inheritance; (4) fail to address the extensive theoretical and empirical literature which shows that non-genetic inheritance can generate novel targets for selection, create new genetic equilibria that would not exist in the absence of non-genetic inheritance, and generate phenotypic variation that is independent of genetic variation; (5) artificially limit ultimate explanations for traits to gene-based selection, which is unsatisfactory for phenotypic traits that originate and spread via non-genetic inheritance systems; and (6) fail to provide an explanation for biological organization. We conclude by noting ways in which we feel that an overly gene-centric theory of evolution is hindering progress in biology and other sciences. (shrink)
Recent evidence suggests that consciousness of encoding is not necessary for the rapid formation of new semantic associations. We investigated whether unconsciously formed associations are as semantically precise as would be expected for associations formed with consciousness of encoding during episodic memory formation. Pairs of faces and written occupations were presented subliminally for unconscious associative encoding. Five minutes later, the same faces were presented suprathreshold for the cued unconscious retrieval of face-occupation associations. Retrieval instructions required participants to classify the presented (...) individuals according to their putative regularity of income, length of education, and creativity value of occupational activity. The three instructions yielded more classifications consistent with a person’s occupation if the person had been subliminally presented with his written occupation versus a meaningless word . This suggests that consciousness is not necessary to encode, long-term store, and retrieve semantically precise associations between primarily unrelated items. (shrink)
The “default system” of the brain has been described as a set of regions which are ‘activated’ during rest and ‘deactivated’ during cognitively effortful tasks. To investigate the reliability of task-related deactivations, we performed a meta-analysis across 12 fMRI studies. Our results replicate previous findings by implicating medial frontal and parietal brain regions as part of the “default system”.However, the cognitive correlates of these deactivations remain unclear. In light of the importance of social cognitive abilities for human beings and their (...) propensity to engage in such activities, we relate our results to findings from neuroimaging studies of social cognition. This demonstrates a remarkable overlap between the brain regions typically involved in social cognitive processes and the “default system”.We, henceforth, suggest that the physiological ‘baseline’ of the brain is intimately linked to a psychological ‘baseline’: human beings have a predisposition for social cognition as the default mode of cognizing which is implemented in the robust pattern of intrinsic brain activity known as the “default system”. (shrink)
In the chapter of Difference and Repetition entitled ‘Ideas and the synthesis of difference,’ Deleuze mobilizes mathematics to develop a ‘calculus of problems’ that is based on the mathematical philosophy of Albert Lautman. Deleuze explicates this process by referring to the operation of certain conceptual couples in the field of contemporary mathematics: most notably the continuous and the discontinuous, the infinite and the finite, and the global and the local. The two mathematical theories that Deleuze draws upon for this purpose (...) are the differential calculus and the theory of dynamical systems, and Galois’ theory of polynomial equations. For the purposes of this paper I will only treat the first of these, which is based on the idea that the singularities of vector fields determine the local trajectories of solution curves, or their ‘topological behaviour’. These singularities can be described in terms of the given mathematical problematic, that is for example, how to solve two divergent series in the same field, and in terms of the solutions, as the trajectories of the solution curves to the problem. What actually counts as a solution to a problem is determined by the specific characteristics of the problem itself, typically by the singularities of this problem and the way in which they are distributed in a system. Deleuze understands the differential calculus essentially as a ‘calculus of problems’, and the theory of dynamical systems as the qualitative and topological theory of problems, which, when connected together, are determinative of the complex logic of different/ciation. (DR 209). Deleuze develops the concept of a problematic idea from the differential calculus, and following Lautman considers the concept of genesis in mathematics to ‘play the role of model ... with respect to all other domains of incarnation’. While Lautman explicated the philosophical logic of the actualization of ideas within the framework of mathematics, Deleuze (along with Guattari) follows Lautman’s suggestion and explicates the operation of this logic within the framework of a multiplicity of domains, including for example philosophy, science and art in What is Philosophy?, and the variety of domains which characterise the plateaus in A Thousand Plateaus. While for Lautman, a mathematical problem is resolved by the development of a new mathematical theory, for Deleuze, it is the construction of a concept that offers a solution to a philosophical problem; even if this newly constructed concept is characteristic of, or modelled on the new mathematical theory. (shrink)
Clarke and Beck assume that approximate number system representations should be assigned referents from our scientific ontology. However, many representations, both in perception and cognition, do not straightforwardly refer to such entities. If we reject Clarke and Beck's assumption, many possible contents for ANS representations besides number are compatible with the evidence Clarke and Beck cite.
Michael Hunter, The Boyle Papers: Understanding the Manuscripts of Robert Boyle. With contributions by Edward B. Davis, Harriet Knight, Charles Littleton and Lawrence M. Principe. Aldershot, England; Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2007. Pp. xiii + 674. US$139.95/£70.00 HB. -/- The publication by Michael Hunter of this revised edition of the catalogue of the Boyle Papers contributes admirably to the renaissance in Boyle studies which has taken place over the past decade and a half. Robert Boyle (1627–91), arguably the most influential British (...) scientist of the late seventeenth century, was a pioneering experimenter, profound thinker, and figure-head of the new science in its early years of development. This volume brings together the materials necessary for understanding the Boyle archive, one of the most important archives from this period, which has been at the Royal Society since 1769. (shrink)
To make sense of what Gilles Deleuze understands by a mathematical concept requires unpacking what he considers to be the conceptualizable character of a mathematical theory. For Deleuze, the mathematical problems to which theories are solutions retain their relevance to the theories not only as the conditions that govern their development, but also insofar as they can contribute to determining the conceptualizable character of those theories. Deleuze presents two examples of mathematical problems that operate in this way, which he considers (...) to be characteristic of a more general theory of mathematical problems. By providing an account of the historical development of this more general theory, which he traces drawing upon the work of Weierstrass, Poincaré, Riemann, and Weyl, and of its significance to the work of Deleuze, an account of what a mathematical concept is for Deleuze will be developed. (shrink)
Much has been made of Deleuze’s Neo-Leibnizianism,3 however not very much detailed work has been done on the specific nature of Deleuze’s critique of Leibniz that positions his work within the broader framework of Deleuze’s own philo- sophical project. The present chapter undertakes to redress this oversight by providing an account of the reconstruction of Leibniz’s metaphysics that Deleuze undertakes in The Fold. Deleuze provides a systematic account of the structure of Leibniz’s metaphys- ics in terms of its mathematical underpinnings. (...) However, in doing so, Deleuze draws upon not only the mathematics developed by Leibniz – including the law of continuity as reflected in the calculus of infinite series and the infinitesimal calculus – but also the developments in mathematics made by a number of Leibniz’s contemporaries – including Newton’s method of fluxions – and a number of subsequent developments in mathematics, the rudiments of which can be more or less located in Leibniz’s own work – including the theory of functions and singularities, the theory of continuity and Poincaré’s theory of automorphic functions. Deleuze then retrospectively maps these developments back onto the structure of Leibniz’s metaphysics. While the theory of continuity serves to clarify Leibniz’s work, Poincaré’s theory of automorphic functions offers a solution to overcome and extend the limits that Deleuze identifies in Leibniz’s metaphysics. Deleuze brings this elaborate conjunction of material together in order to set up a mathematical idealization of the system that he considers to be implicit in Leibniz’s work. The result is a thoroughly mathematical explication of the structure of Leibniz’s metaphysics. What is provided in this chapter is an exposition of the very mathematical underpinnings of this Deleuzian account of the structure of Leibniz’s metaphysics, which, I maintain, subtends the entire text of The Fold. (shrink)
Albert Lautman (b. 1908–1944) was a philosopher of mathematics whose views on mathematical reality and on the philosophy of mathematics parted with the dominant tendencies of mathematical epistemology of the time. Lautman considered the role of philosophy, and of the philosopher, in relation to mathematics to be quite specific. He writes that: ‘in the development of mathematics, a reality is asserted that mathematical philosophy has as a function to recognize and describe’ (Lautman 2011, 87). He goes on to characterize this (...) reality as an ‘ideal reality’ that ‘governs’ the development of mathematics. The relation between mathematical problems as they arise in the historical development of mathematics and the solutions that are provided to these problems by mathematicians, in the form of new mathematical theories, definitions or axioms, are governed by a what Lautman characterises as a dialectics of mathematics. The aim of this paper is to give an account of this Lautmanian dialectic and of how it can be understood to govern the development of solutions to mathematical problems. (shrink)
Corporate Reputation (CR) has become an increasingly important topic in the social responsibility literature. In this exploratory study we relate reputation to crisis management by implementing an experimental survey in which respondents indicate how strongly they feel about a potential crisis. Findings reported here indicate that respondents’ reactions to the potential crisis varied according to the industry in which the firm operated.
Michiel Wielema: The March of the Libertines. Spinozists and the Dutch Reformed Church (1660–1750). ReLiC: Studies in Dutch Religious History. Hilversum: Uitgeverij Verloren, 2004; pp. 221. The Dutch Republic of the seventeenth century is famous for having cultivated an extraordinary climate of toleration and religious pluralism — the Union of Utrecht supported religious freedom, or “freedom of conscience”, and expressly forbade reli- gious inquisition. However, despite membership in the state sponsored Calvinist Dutch Reformed Church not being compulsory, the freedom to (...) gather and worship, or “to air anti-Christian or atheistic opinions” was little tolerated “within” the organized structure of the church, which functioned more as “an exclusive organisation for those willing to submit freely to certain confessional canons and to the disciplinary author- ity of the church’s governing bodies” (10): the consistories, classes, and synods. Those not prepared to submit to Reformed doctrine were free to leave the church without fear of any legal or political repercussions. However, for those not prepared to leave for reasons of personal belief, matters turned out to be quite different. Because the Reformed Church enjoyed full State protection, matters of doctrinal conflict could well evolve into political affairs. And, contrary to the Union of Utrecht, religious inquisition was in some cases actually applied with political approval for “heretics” within the Reformed Church. The main focus of The March of the Libertines is an investigation of this obvious tension. (shrink)
The theme of the conflict between the different interpretations of Spinoza’s philosophy in French scholarship, introduced by Christopher Norris in this volume and expanded on by Alain Badiou, is also central to the argument presented in this chapter. Indeed, this chapter will be preoccupied with distinguishing the interpretations of Spinoza by two of the figures introduced by Badiou. The interpretation of Spinoza offered by Gilles Deleuze in Expressionism in Philosophy provides an account of the dynamic changes or transformations of the (...) characteristic relations of a Spinozist finite existing mode, or human being. This account has been criticized more or less explicitly by a number of commentators, including Charles Ramond. Rather than providing a defence of Deleuze on this specific point, which I have done elsewhere, what I propose to do in this chapter is provide an account of the role played by “joyful passive a affections” in these dynamic changes or transformations by distinguishing Deleuze’s account of this role from that offered by one of his more explicit critics on this issue, Pierre Macherey. An appreciation of the role played by “joyful passive affections” in this context is crucial to understanding how Deleuze’s interpretation of Spinoza is implicated in his broader philosophical project of constructing a philosophy of difference. The outcome is a position that, like Badiou in the previous chapter, rules out “intellect in potentiality” but maintains a role for the joyful passive affects in the development of adequate ideas. (shrink)
What I aim to develop in this paper is a secular foundation to the concept of reincarnation that is consistent with the different ways in which this concept is understood across a number of Buddhist traditions, drawing in particular upon the doctrinal understanding of reincarnation in the Mahāyāna or Madhyamaka tradition as presented in the work of Śāntideva and Nāgārjuna.