Revisiting the work of Jacques Derrida, Reiner Sch_rmann, Jean-Luc Nancy, Hans-Georg Gadamer, Ernst Tugendhat, and Gianni Vattimo, he finds these remains of Being within which ontological thought can still operate.
The idea of philosophical topology, or topography as I call it outside of the Heideggerian context, has become increasingly central to my work over the last twenty years. While the idea is not indebted only to Heideggers thinking, it is probably Heidegger to whom I owe the most. Moreover, one of my claims, central to _Heideggers Topology_, is that Heideggers own work cannot adequately be understood except as topological in character, and so as centrally concerned with place _topos, Ort, (...) Ortschaft_ (which, I should emphasize, is not the same as a concern with space nor with time taken apart from one another, but I shall say more on this below). I do not regard myself as the only person to make this claim, or something like it. In the 1980s, both Joseph Fell and Reiner Schürmann, from very different perspectives, advanced topological readings of Heidegger, or elements of such readings. My own work aims to provide a definitive case for the topological reading of Heideggers thinking in its entirety, as well as to articulate an account of topology or topography as itself central to philosophical inquiry. On my account, the attempt to think place, and to think in accord with place, is at the heart of philosophy as such. (shrink)
On January 16, 1966, Reiner Schürmann wrote a letter to Martin Heidegger in which he submitted two questions for the philosopher’s consideration, and requested a conversation with him. Schürmann was a twenty-four year old friar at the Dominican Faculties of Philosophy and Theology of the Saulchoir, at Essonnes in France, where he had begun his studies in 1962. At the time, he was on a stay of study with Professor Bernhard Welte at the University of Freiburg. Heidegger responded on (...) February 4, inviting the young man to his home in Freiburg. On March 11, the very day of the visit, Schürmann related the content of his discussion with the philosopher to an anonymous correspondent. The three pieces of correspondence were found tucked away in one of the numerous Heidegger volumes of Schürmann’s library. The two letters are naturally written in German, whereas the report is in French. We here publish a translation of these documents. (shrink)
This is not a work of mine. For some reason, I am unable to remove it from my page. It is a list of Dr. Reiner Schürmann's lecture notes for courses that he taught at the New School for Social Research (aka The New School).
Cette " contribution à la très ancienne doctrine des principes"s'effectue sous forme de topologie : elle cherche à relever les lieux d'extraction phénoménaux et langagiers des principes qui ont exercé les hégémonies qu'elle examine, c'est-à-dire qui ont fonctionné comme des normes pour l'agir et le savoir. Les hégémonies sont celles sous et par lesquelles l'Occident a jusqu'à présent vécu. Elles délimitent l'ère de la métaphysique dont notre âge vit le dépérissement. Il y en a trois : la grecque, la latine (...) et la moderne, chacune régie par un principe : respectivement, l'Un, la nature et la conscience de soi. Chacune se déploie dans une langue, qui lui donne ses paramètres : le grec, le latin et le moderne vernaculaire. Ces trois régimes articulent à la fois l'histoire de l'Occident et de la philosophie. En quoi ces hégémonies sont-elles brisées? La topologie discerne trois sortes de principes : d'une part les ultimes, à savoir la natalité ou l'être-pour-la-naissance, et la mortalité ou l'être-pour-la-mort, qui perdurent au travers des âges ; d'autre part les suprêmes et les dernières, qui ont des destins, temporels limités. Les principes suprêmes sont entitatifs : par exemple, chez Kant, Dieu, l'âme et le monde. Les principes derniers sont relationnels. Plus souvent appelés " fantasmes hégémoniques " ou " référents derniers " - un vocabulaire que l'auteur élucide dans l'introduction - ils constituent les hégémonies. Par son effet sur le langage, la natalité institue les principes derniers en nous les faisant poser, tandis que la mortalité les destitue en les brisant de l'intérieur. Co-originaires, les deux principes ultimes forment " le phénomène absolument premier ", le différend tragique. Leur étude appartient à l'analytique des ultimes, qui sert d'outillage à la topologie, et par-là précède. La topologie n'analyse les principes derniers qu'au moment de leur émergence ou institution, et de leur disparition ou destitution. Le souci directeur de la topologie est de nous en apprendre plus sur les nuits qui ont assombri notre terrible siècle et sur celles qui nous menacent. En effet, elle part de la conviction que ces assombrissements ne peuvent avoir que " des origines lointaines et profondes ". (shrink)
This paper puts forward a theoretical framework for the analysis of expertise and experts in contemporary societies. It argues that while prevailing approaches have come to see expertise in various forms and functions, they tend to neglect the broader historical and societal context, and importantly the relational aspect of expertise. This will be discussed with regard to influential theoretical frameworks, such as laboratory studies, regulatory science, lay expertise, post-normal science, and honest brokers. An alternative framework of expertise is introduced, showing (...) the limitations of existing frameworks and emphasizing one crucial element of all expertise, which is their role in guiding action. (shrink)
Every metaphysic, according to Reiner Schürmann, involves the positing of a first principle for thinking and doing whereby the world becomes intelligible and masterable. What happens when such rules or norms no longer have the power they previously had? According to Cornelius Castoriadis, the world makes sense through institutions of imaginary significations. What happens when we discover that these significations and institutions truly are imaginary, without ground? Both thinkers begin their ontologies by acknowledging a radical finitude that threatens to (...) destroy meaning or order. For Schürmann it is the ontological anarchy revealed between epochs when principles governing modes of thinking and doing are foundering but new principles to take their place have not yet emerged. For Castoriadis it is chaos that names the indeterminationdetermination that governs the unfolding of the socio-historical with contingency and unpredictability. And yet for both thinkers their respective ontologies have political or ethical implications. On the basis of the anarchy of being, Schürmann unfolds an anarchic praxis or ethos of “living without why.” And on the basis of his notion of being as chaos, Castoriadis develops his political praxis of autonomy. The challenge for both is this move from ontology to practical philosophy, how to bridge theory and practice. The key for both seems to be a certain ontologically derived sense of freedom. In this paper, I analyze and compare their respective thoughts, and pursue the question of how anarchy or chaos and the implied sense of an ontological freedom might be made viable and sensible for human praxis, how radical finitude in the face of ontological groundlessness might nevertheless serve to situate a viable political praxis. (shrink)
The article presents the sociology of knowledge approach to discourse (SKAD). SKAD, which has been in the process of development since the middle of the 1990s, is now a widely used framework among social scientists in discourse research in the German-speaking area. It links arguments from the social constructionist tradition, following Berger and Luckmann, with assumptions based in symbolic interactionism, hermeneutic sociology of knowledge, and the concepts of Michel Foucault. It argues thereby for a consistent theoretical and methodological grounding of (...) a genuine social sciences perspective on discourse interested in the social production, circulation and transformation of knowledge, that is in social relations and politics of knowledge in the so-called ‘knowledge societies’. Distancing itself from Critical Discourse Analysis, Linguistics, Ethnomethodology inspired discourse analysis and the Analysis of Hegemonies, following Laclau and Mouffe, SKAD’s framework has been built up around research questions and concerns located in the social sciences, referring to public discourse and arenas as well as to more specific fields of (scientific, religious, etc.) discursive struggles and controversies around problematizations (Foucault). (shrink)
The development of personal technologies has recently shifted from devices that seek to capture user attention to those that aim to improve user well-being. Digital wellness technologies use the same attractive qualities of other persuasive apps to motivate users towards behaviors that are personally and socially valuable, such as exercise, wealth-management, and meaningful communication. While these aims are certainly an improvement over the market-driven motivations of earlier technologies, they retain their predecessors’ focus on influencing user behavior as a primary metric (...) of success. Digital wellness technologies are still persuasive technologies, and they do not evade concerns over whether their influence on users is ethically justified. In this paper, we describe several ethical frameworks with which to assess the justification of digital wellness technologies’ influence on users. We propose that while some technologies help users to complete tasks and satisfy immediate preferences, other technologies encourage users to reflect on the values underlying their habits and teach them to evaluate their lives’ competing demands. While the former approach to digital wellness technology is not unethical, we propose that the latter approach is more likely to lead to skillful user engagement with technology. (shrink)
Reiner Schürmann speaks of the end of Western metaphysics as the end of a mode of thinking that relies on an overriding metaphysical principle that establishes the economies that provide the space for permissible and impermissible actions. In its wake, he proposes a project of an-archy, of living without the reliance to the domination of one central metaphysical concept, but rather of kata physin, of “following the way things enter into mutual relations.” Kenneth Schmitz, in reacting to Schürmann, points (...) out that there are elements in Christian thought that can also provide new patterns of thought and action at the twilight of the end of metaphysics, namely, the notions of: charity, the Trinity, and mystery. I shall take up the second suggestion of Schmitz and attempt to articulate what the Christian notion of the Trinity can contribute to our understanding of thought and action after the end of metaphysics. I argue that through the theological detour of Thomistic Trinitarian thought, we can chart out new patterns of thought and action, specifically on the notion of the tri-personality of the Trinity, leading to the analogical understanding of persons-as-relations. Such a consideration not only provides a sharp rebuttal to Schürmann in his understanding of “hard unity” in terms of metaphysical principles, but it also helps us understand the place of man in the contemporary world: one of charitable relationality. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: Preface; 1. Introduction; 2. The savior of capitalism: the power of economic discourse; 3. The mentors of the Holocaust and the power of race science; 4. Protectors of nature: the power of climate change research; 5. Conclusion; Bibliography.
String theory is at the moment the only advanced approach to a unification of all interactions, including gravity. But, in spite of the more than 30 years of its existence, it does not make any empirically testable predictions, and it is completely unknown which physically interpretable principles could form the basis of string theory. At the moment, “string theory” is no theory at all, but rather a labyrinthic structure of mathematical procedures and intuitions. The only motivations for string theory consist (...) in the mutual incompatibility of the standard model of quantum field theory and of general relativity as well as in the metaphysics of the unification program of physics, aimed at a final unified theory of all interactions, including gravity. The article gives a perspective on the problems leading to and resulting from this situation. (shrink)
"... elegant and provocative... Exhibit[s] a subtle mastery of Heidegger's works." —Review of Metaphysics "... splendidly precise study of Heidegger... to be recommended not only to Heidegger scholars but also to those interested in the question of what philosophical thinking has as its task in the modern technological world." —Religious Studies Review "... indispensable to understanding the later Heidegger." —Choice.
The Draft Common Frame of Reference is just published. Now the creation of the final Common Frame of Reference is one of the most important issues in the field of European Private Law. The volume discusses the key question as to what extent the CFR can and should reflect existing EC Contract Law, and to what extent the DCFR has already incorporated the acquis communautaire. The contributions to this volume try to provide answers to this question by analyzing different controversial (...) areas such as the conclusion and content of the contract, non-performance, remedies, damages and the relation to International Private Law. (shrink)
Economic change, globalisation and harmonisation of European Law have brought new challenges to contract law. The contributions in this Volume by prominent legal scholars deal with current trends and perspectives in European and International Contract Law and their impact on the various domestic legal systems. The Compendium provides an analysis of new developments in formation of contract, performance and remedies, consumer contract law and the particularly controversial area of anti-discrimination law. Experts in their field examine the underlying legal principles and (...) problems arising in legal practice in Common Law and Civil Law. The essays written in English, German and French are the product of a series of lectures held in 2006 at the Centre for European Private Law at the University of Münster, Germany. The contributing authors are: John Adams, Hugh Beale, Giuditta Cordero-Moss, Barbara Dauner-Lieb, Michele Graziadei, Thomas Gutmann, Geraint Howells, Simon James, Paul Lagarde, Matthias Lehmann, Peter Møgelvang-Hansen, Salvatore Patti, Thomas Pfeiffer, John C. Reitz, Judith Rochfeld, Martin Schmidt-Kessel, Jürgen Schmidt-Räntsch, Alessandro Somma, Stefano Troiano, Christian Twigg-Flesner, Antoni Vaquer Aloy and Fryderyk Zoll. (shrink)
In October 2008 the European Commission published its Proposal for a Consumer Rights Directive which puts forward far-reaching changes to the core of consumer contract law: Four current directives are to be replaced by a new, overarching piece of legislation and in doing so full harmonisation for the most part is to take the place of the minimum standard presently in force in the EU. Although a welcome initiative, the extent and possible effects of the Proposal have certainly brought a (...) number of issues to the fore. In January 2009, legal experts from universities, practice and the civil service met to address the points raised by the Proposal and the question of the extent to which it can indeed contribute to the modernisation and harmonisation of European consumer contract law. The papers presented at this conference analysed, criticised and suggested improvements for the Proposal and are published in this volume. (shrink)
We construct a model for the level by level equivalence between strong compactness and supercompactness in which below the least supercompact cardinal κ, there is a stationary set of cardinals on which SCH fails. In this model, the structure of the class of supercompact cardinals can be arbitrary.
In this paper I argue that the almost forgotten early dissertation of the phenomenologist Hans Reiner Freiheit, Wollen und Aktivität. Phänomenologische Untersuchungen in Richtung auf das Problem der Willensfreiheit engages with what I call the unity problem of activity. This problem concerns the question whether there is a structure in virtue of which all instances of human activity—and not only “full-blown” intentional actions—can be unified. After a brief systematic elucidation of this problem, which is closely related to the contemporary (...) “problem of action,” I elaborate and critically discuss two relevant threads running through Reiner’s work. The first view concerns the alleged motivational asymmetry between activity and passivity according to which it is essential only for active experiences to be motivated by an underlying passivity. The second view focuses on Reiner’s phenomenology of the will, especially on his notions of “ego-centrality” and “inner will” the latter being introduced in analogy to Brentano’s notion of “inner consciousness.” These two notions are supposed to unify all manifestations of the human will, including “full-blown” intentional actions and non-intentional doings such as laughter. Reiner’s extension of will-based actions to non-intentional activity is one of the most remarkable aspects of his early work. Finally, I show that Reiner ultimately answers the unity problem in the negative because he ends up with the view that besides will-based agency he also acknowledges so-called “motor activity” which is not intrinsically related to the will. I close with a couple of tentative proposals how volitional and motor actions might be unified nonetheless. (shrink)
Reiner Wiehl has always drawn scholarly attention to the more strictly philosophical aspects of Rosenzweig's work. His essays can be put beside those of Jürgen Habermas, Hans-Georg Gadamer and Emmanuel Levinas. As a matter of fact his interpretation of "The Star of Redemption" is philosophically problematic, doubting and questioning, so that it has been particularly fruitful in the effects, i.e. in indicating to the scholars new hermeneutical ways.
In late 2009, e-mails from a server at the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia were released that showed some climate scientists in an unfavorable light. Soon this scandal was known as “Climategate” and a highly charged debate started to rage on blogs and in the mass media. Much of the debate has been about the question whether anthropogenic global warming was undermined by the revelations. But ethical issues, too, became part and parcel of the debate. This (...) article aims to contribute to this debate, assessing the e-mail affair in the light of two normative analyses of science, one proposed by Robert Merton, the second by a recent suggestion to use the concept of honest brokering in science policy interactions. On the basis of these analyses, different aspects of malpractice will be discussed and possible solutions will be suggested. (shrink)
« La déconstruction, c’est la pulvérisation d’un socle spéculatif où la vie trouverait son assise, sa légitimation, sa paix. » Autrefois son élève, Reiner Schürmann identifie dans l’oeuvre de Heidegger un impensé, le principe d’anarchie. Contre cette métaphysique occidentale qu'il s'applique à déconstruire, le penseur de la présence aurait fait de l'être et de l'agir une seule et même question. Et sapé ainsi toute possibilité de définir un fondement rationnel sur lequel construire une philosophie pratique. Que l'agir humain, à (...) l'époque technologique, se trouve privé d'arché : voilà ce que cette étude majeure, lisant Heidegger à rebours, a permis de dévoiler. (shrink)
ABSTRACTExpertise has come under attack not least since the Brexit vote in the UK and Donald Trump’s election as President of the United States. In this contribution, I will provide some conceptual clarification and suggest a new topology of expertise. I will also examine the historical roots of this challenge to expertise and its social context using a comparative lens. I will ask what it could mean to speak of the rightful place of expertise. I will try to provide an (...) answer by looking more closely at different types of expertise. Expertise, it seems, has been used as an umbrella term for a variety of different knowledge-related activities. I will show that the role of the expert has to be differentiated from the role of the scientist, but also from the role of the specialist. Specialists have different tasks in comparison to experts which need to be emphasized. My argument will draw on the social and historical context of the critique of expertise, and discuss the challenge to the social sciences, espec... (shrink)
Given the ubiquity and centrality of social and relational influences to the human experience, our conception of self-governance must adequately account for these external influences. The inclusion of socio-historical, externalist considerations into more traditional internalist accounts of autonomy has been an important feature of the debate over personal autonomy in recent years. But the relevant socio-temporal dynamics of autonomy are not only historical in nature. There are also important, and under-examined, future-oriented questions about how we retain autonomy while incorporating new (...) values into the existing set that guides our interaction with the world. In this paper, we examine these questions from two complementary perspectives: philosophy and neuroscience. After contextualizing the philosophical debate, we show the importance to theories of autonomous agency of the capacity to appropriately adapt our values and beliefs, in light of relevant experiences and evidence, to changing circumstances. We present a plausible philosophical account of this process, which we claim is generally applicable to theories about the nature of autonomy, both internalist and externalist alike. We then evaluate this account by providing a model for how the incorporation of values might occur in the brain; one that is inspired by recent theoretical and empirical advances in our understanding of the neural processes by which our beliefs are updated by new information. Finally, we synthesize these two perspectives and discuss how the neurobiology might inform the philosophical discussion. (shrink)
Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), a simple means of brain stimulation, possesses a trifecta of appealing features: it is relatively safe, relatively inexpensive and relatively effective. It is also relatively easy to obtain a device and the do-it-yourself (DIY) community has become galvanised by reports that tDCS can be used as an all-purpose cognitive enhancer. We provide practical recommendations designed to guide balanced discourse, propagate norms of safe use and stimulate dialogue between the DIY community and regulatory authorities. We call (...) on all stakeholders—regulators, scientists and the DIY community—to share in crafting policy proposals that ensure public safety while supporting DIY innovation. (shrink)
Currently, string theory represents the only advanced approach to a unification of all interactions, including gravity. In spite of the more than thirty years of its existence, the sequence of metamorphosis it ran through, and the ever more increasing number of involved physicists, until now, it did not make any empirically testable predictions. Because there are no empirical data incompatible with the quantum field theoretical standard model of elementary particle physics and with general relativity, the only motivations for string theory (...) rest in the mutual incompatibility of the standard model and of general relativity as well as in the metaphysics of the unification program of physics, aimed at a final unified theory of all interactions including gravity. But actually, it is completely unknown which physically interpretable principles could form the basis of string theory. At the moment, "string theory" is no theory at all, but rather a labyrinthic structure of mathematical procedures and intuitions which get their justification from the fact that they, at least formally, reproduce general relativity and the standard model of elementary particle physics as low energy approximations. However, there are now strong indications that string theory does not only reproduce the dynamics and symmetries of our standard model, but a plethora of different scenarios with different low energy nomologies and symmetries. String theory seems to describe not only our world, but an immense landscape of possible worlds. So far, all attempts to find a selection principle which could be motivated intratheoretically remained without success. So, recently the idea that the low energy nomology of our world, and therefore also the observable phenomenology, could be the result of an anthropic selection from a vast arena of nomologically different scenarios entered string theory. Although multiverse scenarios and anthropic selection are not only motivated by string theory, but lead also to a possible explanation for the fine tuning of the universe, they are concepts which transcend the framework defined by the epistemological and methodological rules which conventionally form the basis of physics as an empirical science. (shrink)
Today, political competition and, thus, the politicians, incentives to cater for the citizens, preferences are weakened by protectionist regulations aiming at the politicians, origin, their incomes, and the "production process of politics". This paper proposes to abolish these regulations and to institutionalize an open, international market for politics. Foreign as well as profit-seeking "policy producers" should be allowed to run directly for office without nominating specific individuals. This enables a policy supplier to become active in several countries and jurisdictions and, (...) thus, to build up an international reputation for being credible, i.e. of sticking to his promises and not exploiting the voters after election. The deregulation program strengthens the influence of the weakly organized social groups and the governments, incentives to pursue what is of general interest. (shrink)