ABSTRACTWe have no reason to believe that reasons do not exist. Contra Bart Streumer’s recent proposal, this has nothing to do with our incapacity to believe this error theory. Rather, it is because if we know that if a proposition is true, we have no reason to believe it, then we have no reason to believe this proposition. From a different angle: if we know that we have at best misleading reasons to believe a proposition, then we have no reason (...) to believe it. This has two consequences. Firstly, coming close to believing the error theory is idle or pointless. Secondly, philosophers who argue that believing sweeping theories like determinism or physicalism is self-defeating because they are either false or believed for no reason pursue a worthwhile argumentative strategy. (shrink)
Free will sceptics deny the existence of free will, that is the command or control necessary for moral responsibility. Epicureans allege that this denial is somehow self-defeating. To interpret the Epicurean allegation charitably, we must first realise that it is propositional attitudes like beliefs and not propositions themselves which can be self-defeating. So, believing in free will scepticism might be self- defeating. The charge becomes more plausible because, as Epicurus insightfully recognised,there is a strong connection between conduct and belief—and so (...) between thecontent of free will scepticism (since it is about conduct) and the attitude of believing it. Second, we must realise that an attitude can be self- defeating relative to certain grounds. This means that it might be self-defeating to be a free will sceptic on certain grounds, such as the putative fact that we lack leeway or sourcehood. This charge is much more interesting because of the epistemic importance of leeway and sourcehood. Ultimately, the Epicurean charge of self-defeat fails. Yet, it delivers important lessons to the sceptic. The most important of them is that free will sceptics should either accept the existence of leeway or reject the principle that ‘“ought” implies “can”’. (shrink)
Suppose I am a leeway sceptic: I think that, whenever I face a choice between two courses of action, I lack true alternatives. Can my practical deliberation be rational? Call this the Deliberation Question. This paper has three aims in tackling it. Its constructive aim is to provide a unified account of practical deliberation. Its corrective aim is to amend the way that philosophers have recently framed the Deliberation Question. Finally, its disputative aim is to argue that leeway sceptics cannot (...) deliberate entirely rationally about what to do, because of the connection between deliberating and deciding. (shrink)
This research focuses on the perceptions of research integrity held by administrative science faculty members in French-language universities in Québec. More specifically, the survey was conducted to isolate and analyse the opinions of the target group concerning the seriousness and frequency of various types of conduct generally associated with a lack of integrity among researchers, peer reviewers and editors (or other assessment supervisors), the causes attributed to research misconduct, and the solutions proposed. Its main interest is to encourage researchers to (...) reflect on the standards they would like to see introduced, based on their own statements concerning what they think and do about research integrity. Each of the 699 faculty members surveyed received a 91-item questionnaire by mail, and 136 completed and returned it. The results show, among other things, that the respondents did not take the question of research integrity lightly; in almost all cases, they considered the types of conduct studied to be at least moderately reprehensible and often very reprehensible. In addition, the same types of conduct were considered to be, or almost to be, moderately frequent. Causes were closely linked to the achievement of professional success. Solutions related to the promotion of publication quality instead of quantity and to the inclusion of at least one full session on research integrity in advanced programs were very clearly favoured. However, in all cases, the consensus did not appear to be very strong. The limits of the results are discussed, along with the recommendations and research possibilities to which they lead. (shrink)
Diogène de Sinope et Calliclès affirment tirer leurs éthiques de l'observation de la nature. En cela, ils s'opposent explicitement à Socrate. Mais leur position est-elle une véritable forme de naturalisme ou un simple usage métaphorique? Ce texte défend la première option, après avoir montré que malgré leur ressemblance métaéthique, ces deux éthiques normatives sont radicalement opposées.
A version of the principle of alternate possibilities claims that one is only blameworthy for actions which one was able to avoid. Much of the discussion about PAP concerns Frankfurt’s counterexamples to it. After fifty years of refined debates, progress might seem hopeless. Yet, we can make headway by asking: “what’s our reason for believing PAP?” The best answer is this: lacking eligible alternatives—alternatives whose cost is not too high to reasonably opt for—is a good excuse. Yet, this principle is (...) subject to straightforward counterexamples, unless it is given an epistemicised reading. And in this latter case, it does not support PAP. So, PAP is unsupported, at least for now. (shrink)
Comme de nombreux penseurs antiques avant et après eux et contrairement à Socrate, Calliclès et Diogène ont déclaré avoir fondé leur éthique sur l’observation de la nature. Et pourtant, les deux discours normatifs qui sont tirés d’une nature que l’on pourrait a priori croire être la même sont on ne peut plus opposés. Calliclès croit que l’homme est appelé à dominer autrui ; Diogène pense plutôt qu’il doit se dominer lui-même ; le premier est un hédoniste débridé, le second croit (...) que le bonheur ne s’achète qu’au prix du sacrifice des désirs artificiels. Comment expliquer cette dichotomie ? Nous empruntons deux routes explicatives. D’abord, nous montrons que pour Calliclès et Diogène, la notion de nature non seulement diffère, mais est observée sous un angle différent. La première est celle des tyrans et de dieux anthropomorphes, la seconde, celle de petits animaux et de dieux autarciques. La première concerne la relation des hommes entre eux ; la seconde, celle de l’homme avec lui-même. Ensuite, nous exposons la différence des présupposés normatifs qui précèdent ou accompagnent l’observation de la nature ; nous contrastons, pour ce faire, les formes d’anticonventionnalisme et d’anti-intellectualisme défendues par Calliclès et Diogène. -/- SUMMARY. Like many ancient thinkers before and after them and contra Socrates, Callicles and Diogenes said they based their ethics on the observation of nature. And yet, the two normative discourses that are derived from nature that we might a priori believe to be the same could not be more opposed. Callicles believes that people are called to dominate others, Diogenes rather thinks people must dominate themselves. The first is an unbridled hedonist, the second believes that happiness can be bought only at the price of sacrificing artificial desires. How to explain this dichotomy? We take two explanatory routes. First, we show that for Callicles and Diogenes, the notion of nature not only differs but is observed from a different angle. The first one is the nature of tyrants and anthropomorphic gods, the second that of small animals and autarkic gods. The first focuses on the relationship between people, the second focuses on the relationship of a person with themselves. Secondly, we expose the difference in normative assumptions that precede or accompany the observation of nature; in order to do so, we contrast anticonventionalism and anti-intellectualism forms proper to both Callicles and Diogenes. (shrink)
I offer an unorthodox argument for the thesis that prostitution is not just a normal job. It has the advantage of being compatible with the claim that humans should have full authority over their sexual life. In fact, it is ultimately the emphasis on this authority that leads the thesis that prostitution is a normal job to collapse. Here is the argument: merchants cannot (both legally and morally) discriminate whom they transact with on the basis of factors like the ethnicity (...) or the religion of their client; but if prostitutes are ‘sex merchants’, then they cannot (both legally and morally) discriminate whom they have sex with on the basis of these factors. Yet everyone should have the full discretionary power to refuse to have sex under any circumstances. (shrink)
Ce compte-rendu résume les quatre dimensions de la philosophie de l’ action défendue dans Action, Knowledge and Will : physique, éthique, psychologique et intellectuel. Cela dit, les deux contributions principales du livre recensé relèvent de liens entre les différentes dimensions de l’ action. Il s’agit d’une distinction et d’une connexion. Premièrement, Hyman croit qu’il faut distinguer la dimension éthique et la dimension physique de l’ action. Plus précisément, il pense que le concept de volonté et le concept de volontaire doivent (...) être différenciés du concept d’ action ou de celui d’agencité, et d’actif. Deuxièmement, Hyman nous propose de connecter la dimension intellectuelle de l’ action avec la connaissance en avançant une théorie de la connaissance comme étant l’habileté d’être guidé par des faits. (shrink)
Le solidarisme de Léon Bourgeois constitue une tentative convaincante de surmonter l’opposition traditionnelle entre libertés individuelles et justice sociale. Bourgeois tente de relever ce défi en faisant appel aux nouvelles découvertes scientifiques en sociologie comme en biologie. En bref, l’observation de la nature nous montrerait que les humains sont en rapport de solidarité les uns avec les autres. De ce fait, on pourrait tirer un devoir de solidarité que l’État serait à même d’imposer aux individus. Fonder une théorie politique sur (...) des théories scientifiques présente un double risque : d’une part, subir l’influence des biologistes collectivistes et de leur vision organiciste de la société ; d’autre part et surtout, se rendre coupable du sophisme naturaliste. Nous exposerons comment Bourgeois tombe initialement dans le piège du sophisme naturaliste avant de s’en extirper. Entre son texte Solidarité (1987) et son Essai d’une philosophie de la solidarité (1907), la progression est frappante. Au final, donc, Bourgeois nous semble présenter une théorie politique qui, tout en s’inspirant des sciences, ne s’y assujettit pas. (shrink)
Le but de ce recueil est d’offrir des commentaires accessibles et introductifs aux textes classiques qu’ils accompagnent, en ouvrant des perspectives de discussion sur le thème du capitalisme. C’est en ce sens qu’Emmanuel Chaput lance le débat en commentant le texte de Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, « Qu’est-ce que la propriété ? ». Les textes de Karl Marx ne sont bien sûr pas laissés pour compte : Samuel-Élie Lesage s’engage fermement dans cette voie en discutant L’idéologie allemande de Karl Marx, Christiane (...) Bailey nous offre d’approcher différemment l’œuvre marxienne en abordant son traitement de la question animale dans des extraits du Manifeste du parti communiste et du Travail salarié et capital, et Mathieu Joffre-Lainé nous présente une analyse fine des questions proprement économiques du Capital. Abordant les alternatives au capitalisme dans la pensée de Léon Bourgeois, Éliot Litalien commente La Solidarité et Simon-Pierre Chevarie-Cossette s’attaque à l’analyse de l’Essai d’une philosophie de la solidarité. Enfin, en liant capitalisme, patriarcat et pouvoir politique, Tara Chanady propose une lecture du texte Du mariage et de l’amour de Emma Goldman. La conclusion de Marie-Eve Jalbert se situe dans une perspective contemporaine et critique en décortiquant la critique du socialisme avancée par Friedrich A. Hayek. (shrink)
An English translation of Pierre Bayle's posthumous last book, Entretiens de Maxime et de Themiste (1707), in which Bayle defends his skeptical position on the problem of the evil. This book is often cited and attacked by G.W. Leibniz in his Theodicy (1710). Over one hundred pages of original philosophical and historical material introduce the translation, providing it with context and establishing the work's importance.
L'actualite du kantisme n'est plus a demontrer. Que l'on songe a l'ethique de la discussion, a la theorie de la justice, a la philosophie des relations internationales, au probleme des arguments dits transcendantaux ou encore a la theorie de l'experience esthetique, la pensee de Kant temoigne aujourd'hui d'une incontestable vigueur et d'une etonnante jeunesse. Cette contemporaneite de Kant se traduit par de multiples tentatives de dialogue avec cette oeuvre afin d'en degager la pertinence pour le debat actuel. L'oeuvre de (...) class='Hi'>Pierre Laberge a su repondre de maniere exemplaire a ses ordres de preoccupations dans l'etude de Kant. Les auteurs sollicites ont eu l'occasion de collaborer avec Pierre Laberge et lui rendent ici un hommage posthume. Ce recueil reflete ainsi cette double exigence d'actualiser le kantisme et d'en analyser les textes. (shrink)
Jean-Luc Nancy discusses his life's work with Pierre-Philippe Jandin. As Nancy looks back on his philosophical texts, he thinks anew about democracy, community, jouissance, love, Christianity, and the arts.
The French philosopher and intellectual historian Pierre Hadot (1922-2010) is known primarily for his conception of philosophy as spiritual exercise, which was an essential reference for the later Foucault. An aspect of his work that has received less attention is a set of methodological reflections on intellectual history and on the relationship between philosophy and history. Hadot was trained initially as a philosopher and was interested in existentialism as well as in the convergence between philosophy and poetry. Yet he (...) chose to become a historian of philosophy and produced extensive philological work on neo-Platonism and ancient philosophy in general. He found a philosophical rationale for this shift in his encounter with Wittgenstein's philosophy in the mid-1950s (Hadot was one of Wittgenstein's earliest French readers and interpreters). For Hadot, ancient philosophy must be understood as a series of language games, and each language game must be situated within the concrete conditions in which it happened. The reference to Wittgenstein therefore supports a strongly contextualist and historicist stance. It also supports its exact opposite: presentist appropriations of ancient texts are entirely legitimate, and they are the only way ancient philosophy can be existentially meaningful to us. Hadot addresses the contradiction by embracing it fully and claiming that his own practice aims at a coincidence of opposites (a concept borrowed from the Heraclitean tradition). For Hadot the fullest and truest way of doing philosophy is to be a philosopher and a historian at the same time. (shrink)
There were three such assumptions required, one explicitly stated, and two not made explicit until Bayle. The explicit one was a certain commonly accepted double understanding of ‘destruction’: a ‘natural’ version, which made it no more than a change in a particular arrangement or ‘organization’ of particles through which an aggregate was destroyed by losing its identity, and a metaphysical version, which entailed the actual annihilation of a substance. It was assumed that the latter could be accomplished only by miraculous (...) supra-natural means available only to God. Thus, if it could be shown that the soul was ‘without parts,’ it followed that the soul was ‘naturally’ indestructible and thus immortal. Bayle summarized the Cartesian argument to immortality as follows. (shrink)
Over the last four decades, the French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu produced one of the most imaginative and subtle bodies of social theory of the postwar era. When he died two years ago, he was considered to be a thinker on a par with Foucault, Barthes, and Lacan--a public intellectual as influential to his generation as Sartre was to his. Science of Science and Reflexivity will be welcomed as a companion volume to Bourdieu's now seminal An Invitation to Reflexive Sociology (...) . In this posthumous work, Bourdieu declares that science is in danger of becoming a handmaiden to biotechnology, medicine, genetic engineering, and military research--that it risks falling under the control of industrial corporations that seek to exploit it for monopolies and profit. Science thus endangered can become detrimental to mankind. The line between pure and applied science, therefore, must be subjected to intense theoretical scrutiny. Bourdieu's goals in Science of Science and Reflexivity are to identify the social conditions in which science develops in order to reclaim its objectivity and to rescue it from relativism and the forces that might exploit it. In the grand tradition of scientific reflections on science, Bourdieu provides a sociological analysis of the discipline as something capable of producing transhistorical truths he presents an incisive critique of the main currents in the study of science throughout the past half century and he offers a spirited defense of science against encroaching political and economic forces. A masterful summation of the principles underlying Bourdieu's oeuvre and a memoir of his own scientific journey, Science of Science and Reflexivity is a capstone to one of the most important and prodigious careers in the field of sociology. (shrink)
Replete with madwomen, murderers, musicians, and mystics, "Lonely Woman" dramatically interweaves the lives of five women. It remains Takako Takahashi's most sustained and multifaceted fictional realization of her concept of "loneliness.".
Synthesizing forty years' work by France's leading sociologist, this book exemplifies Bourdieu's unique ability to link sociological theory, historical information, and philosophical thought. It makes explicit the presuppositions of a state of 'scholasticism', a certain leisure liberated from the urgencies of the world. Philosophers have brought these presuppositions into the order of discourse, more to legitimate than analyze them, and this is the primary systematic, epistemological, ethical, and aesthetic error that Bourdieu subjects to methodological critique. Pascalian because he, too, was (...) concerned with symbolic power, he refused the temptation of foundationalist thinking, attended to 'ordinary people', and was determined to seek the reason for seemingly illogical behavior rather than simply condemning it. Bourdieu charts a negative philosophy, whose intellectual debt to such other 'heretical' philosophers as Wittgenstein, Austin, Dewey, and Peirce, renews traditional questioning of concepts of violence, power, time, history, the universal, and the purpose and direction of existence. (shrink)
Highlighting the social tensions that confront the liberal tradition, Pierre Manent draws a portrait of what we, citizens of modern liberal democracies, have become. For Manent, a discussion of liberalism encompasses the foundations of modern society, its secularism, its individualism, and its conception of rights. The frequent incapacity of the morally neutral, democratic state to further social causes, he argues, derives from the liberal stance that political life does not serve a higher purpose. Through quick-moving, highly synthetic essays, he (...) explores the development of liberal thinking in terms of a single theme: the decline of theological politics. The author traces the liberal stance to Machiavelli, who, in seeking to divorce everyday life from the pervasive influence of the Catholic church, separated politics from all notions of a cosmological order. What followed, as Manent demonstrates in his analyses of Locke, Hobbes, Rousseau, Guizot, and Constant, was the evolving concept of an individual with no goals outside the confines of the self and a state with no purpose but to prevent individuals from dominating one another. Weighing both the positive and negative effects of such a political arrangement, Manent raises important questions about the fundamental political issues of the day, among them the possibility of individual rights being reconciled with the necessary demands of political organization, and the desirability of a government system neutral about religion but not about public morals. (shrink)
The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius are treasured today--as they have been over the centuries--as an inexhaustible source of wisdom. And as one of the three most important expressions of Stoicism, this is an essential text for everyone interested in ancient religion and philosophy. Yet the clarity and ease of the work's style are deceptive. Pierre Hadot, eminent historian of ancient thought, uncovers new levels of meaning and expands our understanding of its underlying philosophy. Written by the Roman emperor for (...) his own private guidance and self-admonition, the Meditations set forth principles for living a good and just life. Hadot probes Marcus Aurelius's guidelines and convictions and discerns the hitherto unperceived conceptual system that grounds them. Abundantly quoting the Meditations to illustrate his analysis, the author allows Marcus Aurelius to speak directly to the reader. And Hadot unfolds for us the philosophical context of the Meditations, commenting on the philosophers Marcus Aurelius read and giving special attention to the teachings of Epictetus, whose disciple he was. The soul, the guiding principle within us, is in Marcus Aurelius's Stoic philosophy an inviolable stronghold of freedom, the "inner citadel." This spirited and engaging study of his thought offers a fresh picture of the fascinating philosopher-emperor, a fuller understanding of the tradition and doctrines of Stoicism, and rich insight on the culture of the Roman empire in the second century. Pierre Hadot has been working on Marcus Aurelius for more than twenty years; in this book he distills his analysis and conclusions with extraordinary lucidity for the general reader. (shrink)
Un dialogue est un logos qui va d'un interlocuteur a un autre. Cet echange d'idees, s'il veut etre fructueux, s'appuie sur un principe tres simple: comme le dialogue n'est pas un monologue, on dialogue avec quelqu'un; et on dialogue sur quelque chose. C'est le cas des travaux qui composent ce volume. L'interlocuteur privilegie est Pierre Aubenque. Ses travaux, son activite en tant qu'enseignant, ses prises de position sur des sujets tres divers ont suscite, de la part de ses disciples, (...) collegues et amis, une veritable envie de dialoguer avec lui, un desir de suivre son exemple. Les auteurs de ces reflexions ont ainsi voulu demontrer que le dialogue instaure pendant plus de vingt ans par le Directeur du centre Leon Robin, reste toujours ouvert. (shrink)