A widespread historiographical portrayal represented Descartes' dualism as constituted in direct contrast with Aquinas' concept of soul-form. In the wake of the many studies that have opposed this prejudice in recent decades, this book reconstructs the fifteenth and seventeenth-century debate on psychology, focusing primarily on the Jesuit context and on the intersection between Aristotelianism, Platonism, and Augustinianism in early modern France. Beginning with a rigorous investigation of the theories of the separated soul, particular attention is then given to the indirect (...) derivation of the Cartesian cogito and innatism from angelological themes of the time. Indeed, in the years in which Descartes elaborates his metaphysics, the immediate proximity between souls and angels is somehow a matter of fact, in the light of which many of the argumentative choices of the Meditations, and even the relationship that closely joins the "thinking substance" with the body-machine, appear clear. -/- . (shrink)
Bruno Latour reconnaît l’influence de Gilbert Simondon sur son oeuvre, en particulier quant à sa compréhension de la technique. Latour semble ainsi réaliser en grande partie le programme de « non-anthropologie » de Simondon. Mais une apparente contradiction existe dans le traitement de l’énonciation par Latour : sa compréhension de la matérialité et des modes d’existence semble prendre le détour de la sémiotique. Cela a mené certains critiques à mettre en doute son approche de la matérialité. Toutefois, vue à travers (...) la lentille de l’influence que Simondon a eue sur Latour, il est possible de relire la théorie latourienne de l’énonciation en comprenant la communication comme passage de l’action d’un être à l’autre, et la signification de cette action comme résultat de sa participation à un processus de constitution des êtres. Latour est donc résolument un penseur du décentrement de l’humain.Bruno Latour recognizes the influence of Gilbert Simondon on his work, especially with respect to his understanding of technique. Latour appears, in that sense, to actualize a large proportion of Simondon’s “non-anthropology”. Yet, what appears to be a contradiction remains in his treatment of enunciation: indeed, his understanding of materiality seems to take the detour of semiotics. This has led some critics to question his approach to materiality. However, seen through the lens of Simondon’s influence on him, it is possible to revisit Latour’s theory of enunciation and to understand communication as the passage of action from one being to the next, and signification as the outcome of action’s participation to the constitution process of a being. This way, Latour is a thinker resolutely committed to de-centering the focus of research away from human beings. (shrink)
It seems natural to choose whether to have a child by reflecting on what it would be like to actually have a child. I argue that this natural approach fails. If you choose to become a parent, and your choice is based on projections about what you think it would be like for you to have a child, your choice is not rational. If you choose to remain childless, and your choice is based upon projections about what you think it (...) would be like for you to have a child, your choice is not rational. This suggests we should reject our ordinary conception of how to make this life-changing decision, and raises general questions about how to rationally approach important life choices. (shrink)
Many philosophers have become familiar with Leopold’s land ethic through the writings of J. Baird Callicott, who claims that Leopold bases his land ethic on a ‘protosociobiological’ argument that Darwin gives in the Descent of Man. On this view, which has become the canonical interpretation, Leopold’s land ethic is based on extending our moral sentiments to ecosystems. I argue that the evidence weighs in favor of an alternative interpretation of Leopold; his reference to Darwin does not refer to the Descent, (...) but rather to the Origin of Species, where Darwin discusses the interdependencies between organisms in the struggle for existence. (shrink)
Aujourd’hui, l’exposition plasticienne crée un nouveau langage en direction du spectateur. Réinventant des signes et des qualités sensibles, elle redéfinit la fabrique comme la perception du plaisir et du jugement de goût et, d’un même élan, restitue à l’œuvre ce que l’esthétique, comme science de l’art, n’aurait jamais dû lui soustraire : la foi en sa capacité critique.
The construction of complex ontologies can be facilitated by adapting existing vocabularies. There is little clarity and in fact little consensus as to what modifications of vocabularies are necessary in order to re-engineer them into ontologies. In this paper we present a method that provides clear steps to follow when re-engineering a thesaurus. The method makes use of top-level ontologies and was derived from the structural differences between thesauri and ontologies as well as from best practices in modeling, some of (...) which have been advocated in the biomedical domain. We illustrate each step of our method with examples from a re-engineering case study about agricultural fertilizers based on the AGROVOC thesaurus. Our method makes clear that re-engineering thesauri requires far more than just a syntactic conversion into a formal language or other easily automatable steps. The method can not only be used for re-engineering thesauri, but does also summarize steps for building ontologies in general, and can hence be adapted for the re-engineering of other types of vocabularies or terminologies. (shrink)
The logistic function now constitutes the most widely used model for there presentation of growth kinetics of the continuous monotonous type in biological systems (populations, organisms, organs, ...). This ubiquity led to consider logistics from a phenomenological rather than mechanistic viewpoint. Whence the question : can logistics be given an interpretation, a signification which confers the rank of an "explicative" model to it? This Note presents some critical comments on the relationships between logistics and three types of biological systems : (...) population demography, environmental resources, autocatalyzed reactions. The so-called functional (in the mathematical meaning) interpretation, which is then discussed, is based upon a variational principle : the occurrence of a minimum of a function associated with the logistic law. Its present limitation to the only simple logistics of Verhulst and the difficulties of its expression in biological terms are then pointed out. (shrink)
Causal processes can give rise to distinctive distributions in the linguistic variables that they affect. Consequently, a secure understanding of a variable's distribution can hold a key to understanding the forces that have causally shaped it. A storied distribution in linguistics has been Zipf's law, a kind of power law. In the wake of a major debate in the sciences around power-law hypotheses and the unreliability of earlier methods of evaluating them, here we re-evaluate the distributions claimed to characterize phoneme (...) frequencies. We infer the fit of power laws and three alternative distributions to 166 Australian languages, using a maximum likelihood framework. We find evidence supporting earlier results, but also nuancing them and increasing our understanding of them. Most notably, phonemic inventories appear to have a Zipfian-like frequency structure among their most-frequent members but a geometric structure among the least-frequent. We compare these new insights the kinds of causal processes that affect the evolution of phonemic inventories over time, and identify a potential account for why, despite there being an important role for phonetic substance in phonemic change, we could still expect inventories with highly diverse phonetic content to share similar distributions of phoneme frequencies. We conclude with priorities for future work in this promising program of research. (shrink)