Presented here is the German translation of Jan Patočka’s fragment Nitro a svět which was written in the 1940s and belongs to the so called „Strahov Papers“. The fragment reflects Patočka’s early attempts towards a thinking of subjectivity and the world. Thereby Patočka’s approach is phenomenological, but also integrates motives of German Idealism. The critical impact of the fragment lies in its orientation against the scientific biologism of its times.
In a number of recent philosophical debates, it has become common to distinguish between two kinds of normative reasons, often called the right kind of reasons (henceforth: RKR) and the wrong kind of reasons (henceforth: WKR). The distinction was first introduced in discussions of the so-called buck-passing account of value, which aims to analyze value properties in terms of reasons for pro-attitudes and has been argued to face the wrong kind of reasons problem. But nowadays it also gets applied in (...) other philosophical contexts and to reasons for other responses than pro-attitudes, for example in recent debates about evidentialism and pragmatism about reasons for belief. While there seems to be wide agreement that there is a general and uniform distinction that applies to reasons for different responses, there is little agreement about the scope, relevance and nature of this distinction. Our aim in this article is to shed some light on this issue by surveying the RKR/WKR distinction as it has been drawn with respect to different responses, and by examining how it can be understood as a uniform distinction across different contexts. We start by considering reasons for pro-attitudes and emotions in the context of the buck-passing account of value (§1). Subsequently we address the distinction that philosophers have drawn with respect to reasons for other attitudes, such as beliefs and intentions (§2), as well as with respect to reasons for action (§3). We discuss the similarities and differences between the ways in which philosophers have drawn the RKR/WKR distinction in these areas and offer different interpretations of the idea of a general, uniform distinction. The major upshot is that there is at least one interesting way of substantiating a general RKR/WKR distinction with respect to a broad range of attitudes as well as actions. We argue that this has important implications for the proper scope of buck-passing accounts and the status of the wrong kind of reasons problem (§4). (shrink)
To get distracted, to enclose and to give oneself. The Gesture of Transcendence in Jan Patočka The problem of transcendence can be traced throughout the whole work of Jan Patočka. The appeal to transcend our bonds to mere objectivity is a constant issue of his thought. It finds a new substantiation in the 1960s in his studies focusing on the meaning of the other as human being. The relation to the other person offers a special "occasion" or "place" of transcendence (...) and poses the challenge to transcend one's own particular setting. While in the mid-1960s Patočka maintains his earlier dramatic vocabulary to describe the process of transcendence, in the late 1960s his idiom becomes less vehement. Yet, it is precisely within this more "sober" framework that he symbolizes the process of transcendence with an emphatic turn to a "myth of the divine man" and its key metaphor of resurrection. To transcend means, for Patočka, always to liberate oneself from a state of self-distraction between things. However, in his late lectures, he briefly refers to a deeper layer, suggesting that this self-distraction has its "roots" in a self-enclosure or self-isolation, in the exclusive concentration on our own interests and in the illusion of our self-sufficiency. Transcendence, then, means to overcome this self-enclosure by means of a self-forgetting love. Are these rarely mentioned "roots" perhaps implicitly present in all Patočka's accounts of transcendence? (shrink)
This paper describes the work of the Polish logician Jan Kalicki (1922?1953). After a biographical introduction, his work on logical matrices and equational logic is appraised. A bibliography of his papers and reviews is also included.
The article focuses on the report of the International Workshop on “17th Century Polish Jesuits in China: Michal Boym, Jan Mikolaj Smogulecki, and Andrzej Rudomina” held at the University School of Philosophy and Education in Poland organized by the Monumenta Serica Institute. The author focuses on the Chinese philosophy lecture by Professor Shi Yunli about the influence of Smogulecki on Xue Fengzou, Chinese culture and science and their work on astrology and astronomy.
Scholars from all the continents have written articles to celebrate the seventieth birthday of Jan Srzednicki, a thinker still at the height of his powers. Born in Warsaw on 24 April 1993, Jan Srzednicki divided his energies between his philosophical studies at the University of Warsaw and his service in the underground army. In 1944 he was caught up in the dramatic attempt to liberate Warsaw from the Nazis. Srzednicki's scientific work alternates between problems of Austrian and German philosophy and (...) questions of political philosophy. The papers published in this volume discuss topics of general philosophy, in the clear and deep style both of Srzednicki's own philosophical work and of the Authors investigated in his writings. The topics developed pertain to the fields of epistemology and of logic and philosophy of logic. (shrink)
A unifying framework of probabilistic reasoning Content Type Journal Article Category Book Review Pages 1-4 DOI 10.1007/s11016-011-9573-x Authors Jan Sprenger, Tilburg Center for Logic and Philosophy of Science, Tilburg University, P.O. Box 90153, 5000 LE Tilburg, The Netherlands Journal Metascience Online ISSN 1467-9981 Print ISSN 0815-0796.
Respecting Persons in Theory and Practice is a collection of essays of the moral and political philosophy of Jan Narveson. The essays in this collection share a consistent theme running through much of Narveson's moral and political philosophy, namely that politics and morals stem from the interests of individual people, and have no antecedent authority over us. The essays in this collection, in various ways and as applied to various aspects of the scene, argue that the ultimate and true point (...) of politics and morals is to enable us to make our lives better, according to our varied senses of what that might mean. (shrink)
Since the Niels Bohr centenary of 1985 there has been an astonishing international surge of scholarly analyses of Bohr's philosophy. Now for the first time in Niels Bohr and Contemporary Philosophy Jan Faye and Henry Folse have brought together sixteen of today's leading authors who have helped mould this new round of discussions on Bohr's philosophy. In fifteen entirely new, previously unpublished essays we discover a surprising variety of the different facets of Bohr as the natural philosopher whose `framework of (...) complementarity' shaped the final phase of the quantum revolution and influenced two generations of the century's leading physicists. There is much on which the authors included here agree; but there are also polar disagreements, which assure us that the philosophical questions revolving around Bohr's `new viewpoint' will continue to be a subject of scholarly interest and discussion for years to come. This collection will interest all serious students of history and philosophy of science, and foundations of physics. (shrink)
Belief in the afterlife is still very much alive in Western civilisation, even though the truth of its existence is no longer universally accepted. Surprisingly, however, heaven, hell and the immortal soul were all ideas which arrived relatively late in the ancient world. Originally Greece and Israel - the cultures that gave us Christianity - had only the vaguest ideas of an afterlife. So where did these concepts come from and why did they develop? In this fascinating, learned, but highly (...) readable book, Jan N. Bremmer - one of the foremost authorities on ancient religion - takes a fresh look at the major developments in the Western imagination of the afterlife, from the ancient Greeks to the modern near-death experience. (shrink)
Jan Sprenger and Stephan Hartmann offer a fresh approach to central topics in philosophy of science, including causation, explanation, evidence, and scientific models. Their Bayesian approach uses the concept of degrees of belief to explain and to elucidate manifold aspects of scientific reasoning.
Aggregation in moral philosophy calls for the summing or averaging of values or utilities as a guide to individual behavior. But morality, it is argued, needs to be individualistic, in view of the evident separateness of persons, especially given the great disparities among individuals who nevertheless interact with each other in social life. The most plausible general moral program is the classical liberal one calling for mutual noninterference rather than treating others as equal to oneself in point of demands on (...) our action. Why, then, would we ever aggregate? The reason is that we are affected by behavior that has general effects, especially unintended side effects, on all sorts of people among whom we ourselves are often to be found. When we are randomly situated among such groups—as we sometimes are and often are not—minimizing aggregate harm is the plausible strategy, and sometimes promoting aggregate benefit as well. (shrink)
The subject of this essay is political, and therefore social, philosophy; and therefore, ethics. We want to know whether the right thing for a society to do is to incorporate in its structure requirements that we bring about equality, or liberty, or both if they are compatible, and if incompatible then which if either, or what sort of mix if they can to some degree be mixed. But this fairly succinct statement of the issue before us requires considerable clarification, even (...) as a statment of the issue. For it is widely, and in my view correctly, held that some sort of equality is utterly fundamental in these matters. We seek a principle, or principles, that apply to all, are the same for all. In that sense, certainly, equality is fundamental and inescapable. But this is a very thin sort of “equality.” It will almost equally widely be agreed that the principles in question should in some more interesting sense “treat” people equally, e.g., by allotting to all the same set of rights, and moreover, rights that are – again we have to say “in some sense” – nonarbitrary, so that whatever they are, persons of all races, sexes, and so on will have the same fundamental rights assigned to them. Taking this to be, again, essentially uncontroversial, though not without potentially worrisome points of unclarity, it needs, now, to be pointed out that this characterization does not settle the issue that this essay is concerned with. That issue is about economic matters in particular. (shrink)
_Vygotsky Philosophy and Education_ reassesses the works of Russian psychologist Lev Vygotsky work by arguing that his central ideas about the nature of rationality and knowledge were informed by the philosophic tradition of Spinoza and Hegel. Presents a reassessment of the works of Lev Vygotsky in light of the tradition of Spinoza and Hegel informing his work Reveals Vygotsky’s connection with the work of contemporary philosophers such as Brandom and McDowell Draws on discussions in contemporary philosophy to revise prominent readings (...) of Vygotskian psychology and revisits educational debates where Vygotsky’s ideas were central Reveals the limitations of appropriations of Vygotsky which fail to recognize the Hegelian provenance of his work Shows the relevance of Brandom’s inferentialism for contemporary educational theory and practice. (shrink)
This book on infinite regress arguments provides (i) an up-to-date overview of the literature on the topic, (ii) ready-to-use insights for all domains of philosophy, and (iii) two case studies to illustrate these insights in some detail. Infinite regress arguments play an important role in all domains of philosophy. There are infinite regresses of reasons, obligations, rules, and disputes, and all are supposed to have their own moral. Yet most of them are involved in controversy. Hence the question is: what (...) exactly is an infinite regress argument, and when is such an argument a good one? (shrink)
The recent progress in the development of autonomous cars has seen ethical questions come to the forefront. In particular, life and death decisions regarding the behavior of self-driving cars in trolley dilemma situations are attracting widespread interest in the recent debate. In this essay we want to ask whether we should implement a mandatory ethics setting for the whole of society or, whether every driver should have the choice to select his own personal ethics setting. While the consensus view seems (...) to be that people would not be willing to use an automated car that might sacrifice themselves in a dilemma situation, we will defend the somewhat contra-intuitive claim that this would be nevertheless in their best interest. The reason is, simply put, that a PES regime would most likely result in a prisoner’s dilemma. (shrink)
Using the history classroom as a context for ethics and moral education is a long, but also contested, tradition. Recently, more emphasis has been put on how to incorporate ethics education, with this paper exploring the spaces of ethics and moral education in the history classroom. It is argued here that insights from moral philosophy and theories of historical consciousness, but – importantly – also moral psychology and the study of moral emotions, are needed to realise the potential of history (...) teaching and learning to support ethics education. Following this line, three spaces of ethics education in the history classroom are identified in this paper, including: reasoning about the moral quality of historical actors’ conduct; the use of historical empathy ; and reflection of the past’s moral meaning to the present and the future. As an example of how to implement this, a set of stimulus activities is presented that is designed for the classroom and a qualitative analysis of students’ responses that explicate expressions of students’ moral reasoning, perspective-taking, and historical consciousness. (shrink)
The limiting of violence through state powers is one of the central projects of the modern age. Why then have recent centuries been so bloody? In Trust and Violence, acclaimed German intellectual and public figure Jan Philipp Reemtsma demonstrates that the aim of decreasing and deterring violence has gone hand in hand with the misleading idea that violence is abnormal and beyond comprehension. We would be far better off, Reemtsma argues, if we acknowledged the disturbing fact that violence is normal. (...) At the same time, Reemtsma contends that violence cannot be fully understood without delving into the concept of trust. Not in violence, but in trust, rests the foundation of true power. Reemtsma makes his case with a wide-ranging history of ideas about violence, from ancient philosophy through Shakespeare and Schiller to Michel Foucault, and by considering specific cases of extreme violence from medieval torture to the Holocaust and beyond. In the midst of this gloomy account of human tendencies, Reemtsma shrewdly observes that even dictators have to sleep at night and cannot rely on violence alone to ensure their safety. These authoritarian leaders must trust others while, by means other than violence, they must convince others to trust them. The history of violence is therefore a history of the peculiar relationship between violence and trust, and a recognition of trust's crucial place in humanity. A broad and insightful book that touches on philosophy, sociology, and political theory, Trust and Violence sheds new, and at times disquieting, light on two integral aspects of our society. (shrink)