A successful attempt to bring all of Freud's discussions of the concepts of repression and defense into systematic form. Madison also argues that there is an observational language which corresponds to- Freud's theoretical language; by translating these concepts into observational terms, we can bring Freudian psychology "up to date."--S. R.
This is a careful, line-by-line and often word-by-word commentary on Book XII of the Metaphysics. The commentary is preceded by a seven part introduction which deals with the theology of Book XII, noûs, self-knowledge, desire, the place of the book in Aristotle’s writings, its date and structure, and the problem of Chapter 8 and Aristotle’s monotheism. Elders claims Chapter 8 was not written by Aristotle but by a disciple or disciples. He also claims that Book XII contains at least five (...) other distinct treatises which come from different periods in Aristotle’s life. Throughout his book Elders summarizes the opinions of all the important modern and ancient commentators who have written on the questions he examines, and makes copious references to other Greek thinkers and other works of Aristotle. For example the section on self-knowledge moves through several dialogues of Plato and through Aristotle’s ethical writings. Philological observations abound, and Elders is sensitive to philosophical aspects in them. Some of his remarks about terms like ousia and dokei contain helpful philosophical insights. The presentation is lean, clear and direct. Elders has marked off another definite part of Aristotle’s Metaphysics and has supplied us with all the information, sources and scholarly commentary that are available for it.—R. S. (shrink)
Although social scientists have identified diverse behavioral patterns among children from dissimilarly structured families, marketing scholars have progressed little in relating family structure to consumption-related decisions. In particular, the roles played by members of single-mother families—which may include live-in grandparents, mother’s unmarried partner, and step-father with or without step-sibling(s)—may affect children’s influence on consumption-related decisions. For example, to offset a parental authority dynamic introduced by a new stepfather, the work-related constraints imposed on a breadwinning mother, or the imposition of adult-level (...) household responsibilities on children, single-mother families may attend more to their children’s product preferences. -/- Without a profile that includes socio-economic, behavioral, and psychological aspects, efficient and socially responsible marketing to single-mother households is compromised. Relative to dual-parent families, single-mother families tend to have fewer resources and less buying power, children who consume more materialistic and compulsively, and children who more strongly influence decision making for both own-use and family-use products. Timely research would ensure that these and other tendencies now differentiate single-mother from dual-parent families in ways that marketers should address. Hence, our threefold goal is (1) to consolidate and highlight gaps in existing theory applied to studying children’s influence on consumption-related decision making in single-mother families, and (2) to propose a hybrid framework that merges two theories conducive to such research, and (3) to identify promising research propositions for future research. (shrink)
In this response to Jeff Pflug’s review of my dissertation Michael Polanyi’s Integrative Philosophy, I note that Pflug focused on my discussion of possible extension of Polanyi’s epistemology; he has also taken my statements on scientific truth out of context. In addition, he ignored the four major elements of the dissertation, thereby not giving the reader a “map” to the meaning and the rationale of the work – an intellectual biography of Polanyi.
The main thesis of this book is that Wittgenstein’s early philosophy is an exemplification of Newtonian physics, whereas the later philosophy exemplifies contemporary, relativistic physics. The reader may recall Wittgenstein’s insistence, during both major periods of his thought, upon the separation of philosophy from science. However, Bolton’s unstated premise is that Wittgenstein’s thought was unconsciously determined by two different conceptions of physics. Whatever one may think of this, it leaves a question unanswered. Since both periods of Wittgenstein’s thought follow the (...) development of relativistic physics, why was he initially influenced by Newtonian physics or its expression in modern philosophy? Was this a contingent error of the youthful Wittgenstein, or an expression of historical inevitability? We find no discussion of this difficult problem in Bolton’s book. Instead, he claims, and to some extent shows, that Wittgenstein, in the Tractatus, crystallizes the axioms of modern philosophy, which is essentially Newtonian. At the historical level, this thesis is either wrong or uninformative. It is wrong because not all of modern philosophy can be explained on the basis of the peculiarities of modern or Newtonian physics. It is uninformative because to the extent that all modern philosophers took Newtonian physics for granted, the latter cannot account for the sharp differences between, say, John Locke and Hegel. Nevertheless, Bolton provides interesting and plausible reasons for regarding the Tractatus as an expression of that aspect of modern philosophy which may profitably be called "Newtonian." He fails to convince at least one reader that the repudiation of the Tractatus is a repudiation of modern philosophy for anyone other than Wittgenstein and his followers. On the other hand, once we discount, or even disregard, Bolton’s historical thesis, the more traditional virtues of his book come sharply into focus. Having recently reviewed the 686 page commentary by Baker and Hacker on the first third of the Investigations, as well as Wright’s 481 page essay on Wittgenstein’s philosophy of mathematics, the author of this note is in a good position to appreciate the economy and lucidity of Bolton’s summary analysis of the main points in the Tractatus. As an example of my disagreement with Bolton’s interpretation, I begin with a brief citation from p. 86. (shrink)
David Allison here translates Derrida’s booklet, La voix et le phénomène and two essays, "La forme et le vouloir-dire" and "La différance". It is a good translation, readable and accurate, even though once or twice he seems reluctant to move fully into English idiom: why not, for instance, render "la vive voix" as "speaking out loud" instead of "living vocal medium"? Derrida claims Husserl is caught in the classical metaphysics of presence, an entrapment shown by his belief that the meaning (...) of speech can be isolated from reference or indication, at least in the privileged case of phenomenological reflection: for then we do not speak to another, only to ourselves, and no indication is needed to turn our minds towards what is discussed. In this privileged discourse we enjoy a sheer presence of meaning, with no indication or reference to anything absent, and no need for the sounding voice either. But Derrida claims that when we think we can never do without indication and sound—at least the imagined sound of inner speech—and so even the privileged presence of phenomenological reflection must involve some absences. The speaker himself is constituted only with the signs and sensuosity of speech, not by a sheer view of presence. (shrink)
Human-eyelid conditioning was the principal source of information on Pavlovian conditioning, especially human, in the 1950s and 1960s, but it suffered a sharp decline in productivity, beginning in the late 1960s. The present article treats the decline as a case study with potential implications concerning the survival contingencies of research specialties. We make use of questionnaire data from eyelid-conditioning researchers and examine a variety of publication, topic-of-investigation, and institutional data to identify the major factors in the decline of human-eyelid conditioning.
Polanyi’s philosophy of “man in thought,” by all appearances, chronologically and structurally, seems to be founded on his epistemology. Polanyi’s epistemology of tacit knowing as integration is teleological. By his “ontological equation,” he patterned comprehensive (and complex) entities as emergence on his epistemology. This forces him to make puzzling formulaic statements which land him in trouble with fellow scientists. The equation also lends itself to unwarranted problematic interpretations. The exploration leads me to suggest that Polanyi may be understood as a (...) “rational realist” who insisted on a tacit knowledge version of interactionist mode of mind-body relation. (shrink)
In 1931 the mathematical logician Kurt Godel published a revolutionary paper that challenged certain basic assumptions underpinning mathematics and logic. A colleague of Albert Einstein, his theorem proved that mathematics was partly based on propositions not provable within the mathematical system and had radical implications that have echoed throughout many fields. A gripping combination of science and accessibility, Godel’s Proof by Nagel and Newman is for both mathematicians and the idly curious, offering those with a taste for logic and philosophy (...) the chance to satisfy their intellectual curiosity. (shrink)
This long, diffuse, and intermittently quite interesting work is an attempt to explain and justify the process by which the concept of truth has been transformed in modern and contemporary philosophy from a doctrine of adequation via one of the true vision of things to that of the activity of the free subject. The main figures in this process are Descartes, Leibniz, Kant, and Hegel, although considerable space is devoted to Fichte, Schelling, Nietzsche, Husserl, Heidegger, Wittgenstein, and even K. O. (...) Apel and Hans Wagner. Despite the discussion of Wittgenstein and an odd comment or so about Frege, modern philosophy means primarily modern German philosophy; there is, however, some peripheral treatment of contemporary analytical thought. One may perhaps point to three main aspects of the author’s program. The first is his acceptance of the currently fashionable view that semantics is the orientating branch of philosophy. This thesis follows from the author’s acceptance of the historical rejection of Cartesian and Leibnizian intuition in favor of Kantian and Hegelian emphasis upon rationality as categoricity or conceptualism. The second aspect is Simon’s regular attempt to assimilate semantics into the doctrine of reflection. Hence the emphasis upon concepts shifts from that of objects to a second-order reflection upon the nature of conceptual thinking. The third aspect is in many ways the most comprehensive; at least Simon’s book culminates in its articulation. This is the attempt to assimilate the doctrine of reflection into a conception of freedom as a doctrine of both Recht and communication. I found especially valuable the emphasis upon the contribution of the subject to "objective" conceptions of meaning and truth. There are very good pages on the modern doctrine of intuition and the changing role assigned to imagination. The regular emphasis placed by Simon on negation as determination, and hence upon negation of negation as a crucial element even within non-dialectical logic, is also valuable. I was less persuaded by the treatment of intersubjectivity as an expression of a hermeneutics of communication within the context of a doctrine of individual rights. This Fichtean revision of Habermas and Apel may be the latest chapter in German academic philosophy of the traditional stream, but it does not follow even on Simon’s quasi-Hegelian principles that the text is sound. The deepest problem facing the author is to prevent the concept of truth from dissolving altogether into subjective reflection upon the limitations of objective definitions of truth. Stated somewhat differently, the author fails to persuade this reader that truth is actually the consensus of the community. Whatever the "positivist" deficiencies of Descartes and Leibniz, they do provide us with a concept of truth that is not easily mistaken for ideology.—S.R. (shrink)
Contemporary ideas about caring in welfare states can wreak havoc if applied to one's own life. In this essay, a mother offers a personal commentary on the debate regarding diakonia and caring. She identifies three concepts, popular in contemporary caring discourse, that threaten her ability to genuinely and effectively care for those around her, particularly her family. The first problematic concept is that the state ought to provide care on our behalf. The second is that people have rights to claim, (...) but no one in particular bears the responsibility. The third is that the Church is responsive rather than normative in the social setting. (shrink)
This complex and subtle book is difficult to summarize. The author intends it as a supplement to existing commentaries on Plato’s Meno, rather than as a straightforward commentary of his own. His approach to Plato builds upon that of Leo Strauss, Jacob Klein, and the Tübingen School, but is not reducible to any of these and contains other influences as well, such as Heidegger. In addition to taking with minute seriousness the dramatic composition of the dialogue, Brague combines precise and (...) sensitive philological tools with a marked ontological interest. He reads the Platonic dialogue in a bipolar perspective. Dialogues are tests of friendship but at the same time, as "works" or literary texts rather than objects, they may have a sense in themselves. Brague cites Proust in this context, but one thinks also of Derrida. Consequently the dialogue has both an intrinsic order, corresponding to the rhythmic development of its theme, and also an allusive dimension or a lacuna suggested by the text, to be filled in by the reader. In a similar sense one may say that the theme of the Meno is bipolar. The first pole is the theme of the nature of the soul, hence of virtue, and more specifically, of Meno’s soul. Meno’s defective nature is the basis for a continuous "degradation" in the stages of the dialogue. Alternatively, it is the basis for Meno’s "anthropological" approach to virtue. The key to the Meno is that the Good is missing from the dialogue. This observation provides a transition to the second thematic pole. The structure of the dialogue reflects the stages of Plato’s esoteric teaching as presented by K. Gaiser : dialectic, geometry, politics. This raises a question for Brague, which he does not seem to me to answer : if this is the order of Plato’s secret system, how is the degraded presentation of the system, relative to Meno’s defective soul, isomorphic to the hierarchical structure of the system? Granting that politics is lower than dialectic, there must be a better and a worse presentation of politics. Brague’s approach entails that the degraded image of the structure nevertheless reveals the structure itself. But if the Good is absent from the image, how are we to infer that it is present in the structure? A similar problem suggests itself with respect to what Brague calls the key to the movement of the dialogue: the distinction between the limiting and the limited and correspondingly, "the powerlessness of the limit" in Meno’s case. In the last and longest section of the book, there are many fine analyses and illuminating insights, too many to do justice to here. One may call special attention to the connection between the episode of recollection and geometry on the one hand, and the duality of principles in Plato’s system. I also found unusually helpful Brague’s exposition of the "feminine" nature of Plato’s teaching of genesis, of the link between Plato’s use of anakineisthai and the dramatic device of a prologue, and the significance of katasëmainesthai in conjunction with the theme of "growing" and preserving virtuous youths. In sum: this is a book to be read carefully and slowly by every serious student of Plato. It is almost as difficult, and hence as controversial, as a Platonic dialogue. It is marked throughout, even when influenced by contemporary schools of thought, by a genuine interest in Plato’s manner of thinking and writing. This is not exactly a common property of contemporary books on Plato.—S.R. (shrink)
According to my interpretation, based on the entirety of Michael Polanyi's epistemological works, his theory of tacit knowing is conceived of as three models tied together by the central feature of Intellectual Passions as integrator. The models are progressively refined forms of his first conception of tacit knowing: ‘we know more than we can tell’. The three models are: the Gestalt-Perception Model based on the gestalt notion of part-whole relations, the Action-Guiding Model incorporating the phenomenological-existential notion of intentional action, and (...) the Semiotic Model, an abstract conception of action directed to meaning showing that tacit knowing has a ‘from-to structure’. In the Semiotic Model integration is named by the logical term ‘inference’. Polanyi's conception of reality and his theory of truth are introduced linked to the models, to show why his epistemology is not subjectivist and his theory of truth is not relativist. (shrink)
An eminently readable essay in the history of ideas. Various strands of Primitive Christianity are identified against the backgrounds of their antecedents: the Old Testament heritage whose history of the world was the history of God's work; the legalistic ritualism of Judaism against which Jesus protested; the wedding of Judaism with Greek rationalism in Hellenistic Alexandria; and the philosophic schools of the Greek world.--R. G. S.
Miller first examines the New Critics’ theory of metaphor, then presents his own views. There is one chapter on Hulme and Richards, one on Empson, Tate, Ransom and Brooks, and a third on Wimsatt, Wheelwright, and Krieger. Chapter Four contains Miller’s position and applies it to some metaphors from the metaphysical poets, and Chapter Five examines the problem of the objective status of a work of verbal art. Miller uses Richards’ distinction between the tenor and vehicle of a metaphor; in (...) "My love is a red, red rose," "love" is the tenor and "rose" the vehicle, and a metaphor occurs only in the tense convergence of tenor and vehicle. With this formal scheme he defines surface and submerged metaphors—the former having both elements stated, the latter having the tenor unstated but implied; Miller distinguishes these from moribund metaphors, like the "foot" of a mountain, in which the appropriate tenors are forgotten, not submerged. He distinguishes positive and negative metaphor, depending upon the emphasis the metaphor places on either the fusion or the resistance between tenor and vehicle, for both forces must operate within a lively metaphor. He distinguishes simple, complex and compound metaphors, to the extent that tenor and vehicle are either simple terms or else contain, each or both of them, metaphors inside themselves. In the case of compound metaphors, sometimes the vehicle can be submerged, and if the critic can find what the vehicle is, the poetic passage acquires a more condensed and unified logical form. Miller’s application of these schemes to concrete instances of metaphor are carried out to good effect. His treatment of the epistemology and ontology of a work of verbal art is less successful; he wishes to accommodate both subjective and objective aspects, but tends to consider a manifestation of a poem as the poem itself. He considers the written documentation of a poem to be marks on a surface which serve as stimuli to the reader’s awareness; but units of documentation are written words, not marks, and the process of reading is not, as he claims, a process of decoding. He distinguishes between oral documentation and performance, but seems to think records, tapes and films are instances of the former; would not memory, or perhaps even recitation by rote, be better examples of oral documentation? He considers Saussurian langue as an example of a "cultural object" which finds manifestation in parole; but if this is so, how can there ever be intermediate cultural objects like poems or stories? Langue would be the only verbal cultural object there is. It would be better to consider poems and stories as cultural objects, and language as a potential matrix for them, much as matter is a matrix for substances. Miller objects to the metaphor of "organism" for a poem, because, he says, when we take a poem apart in critical analysis, we do not kill it; therefore the metaphor of "machine" is better—something that can be taken apart and put together again. But surely the correction here is not to replace organism by machine, but to change one’s understanding of what it is to take apart. The critic takes apart in thought, the way a mathematician does, and not like a butcher. Miller’s book is extremely interesting, asks many good questions, and should be read with profit and delight by philosophers interested in language.—R. S. (shrink)