Au regard de l’histoire longue d’un milieu de marais, l’article propose de suivre les évolutions récentes, de 1960 à nos jours, des usages de l’eau lors du glissement d’un village agricole à une zone urbaine. L’analyse se concentre sur les transformations dans le temps des relations qu’entretiennent les habitants d’une ville du sud-est de la France avec un fleuve. De la zone agricole d’hier – où les habitants conjuguaient leur vie à l’irrégularité du fleuve, vivant au gré de ses crues, (...) contraignantes mais fertilisantes – au quartier urbain d’aujourd’hui – où l’on habite pour l’intérêt géographique et paysager que la situation octroie, entre ville, mer, et axes de transport, tout en se protégeant fermement du risque inondation –, le mot riverain a perdu de son sens, altérant les possibilités de développement d’une culture locale du risque. In the perspective of the long history of a wetlands environment, the article proposes to monitor the recent and rapid changes in water use on a territory that has shifted from a rural to an urban area. The study site, Lattes, is an upper middle-class suburban neighborhood located in southeastern France on the Mediterranean coast that has experienced very rapid growth. It was developed on wetlands and still remains vulnerable to flash floods. Our analysis focuses on the changes in the relationship between inhabitants and water over time and its implications for the local risk culture. From the former agricultural area – where local inhabitants adjusted to the irregularity of the river regime, their lives tuned to the river floods that were constraining as well as fertilizing – to the current urban and popular neighborhood – where inhabitants have settled for the geographical and landscape values offered both by the environment and the availability of inter-city, sea and transport connections, while actively controlling flood risks. In this situation, the term “riparian inhabitant” has lost its meaning. (shrink)
The experiments reported herein probe the visual cortical mechanisms that control near–far percepts in response to two-dimensional stimuli. Figural contrast is found to be a principal factor for the emergence of percepts of near versus far in pictorial stimuli, especially when stimulus duration is brief. Pictorial factors such as interposition (Experiment 1) and partial occlusion Experiments 2 and 3) may cooperate, as generally predicted by cue combination models, or compete with contrast factors in the manner predicted by the FACADE model. (...) In particular, if the geometrical con guration of an image favors activation of cortical bipole grouping cells, as at the top of a T-junction, then this advantage can cooperate with the contrast of the con guration to facilitate a near–far percept at a lower contrast than at an X-junction. Varying the exposure duration of the stimuli shows that the more balanced bipole competition in the X-junction case takes longer exposure times to resolve than the bipole competition in the T-junction case (Experiment 3). (shrink)
Some of my mental states are conscious and some of them are not. Sometimes I am so focused on the wine in front of me that I am unaware that I am thinking about it; but sometimes, of course, I take a reflexive step back and become aware of my thinking about the wine in front of me. What marks the difference between a conscious mental state and an unconscious one? In this paper, I focus on Durand of St.-Pourçain’s (...) rejection of the higher-order theory of state consciousness, according to which a mental act is conscious when there is another, suitably related, mental (reflex) act that exists at the same time with it. Durand rejects such higher-order theories on the grounds that they violate the thesis that a given mental power can have or elicit only one mental act at a given time. I first go over some of Durand’s general arguments for this thesis. I then turn to Durand’s application of the thesis to the issue of state consciousnes and reflex acts. I close by considering the objection that Durand’s same-order theory of state consciousness makes consciousness ubiquitous. (shrink)
Beatific Enjoyment in Medieval Scholastic Debates traces the reception of Saint Augustine’s concept of beatific enjoyment in Peter Lombard’s Sentences. It identifies the main themes and problems which shaped the discussion of the concept in thirteenth- and fourteenth-century scholastic commentaries. Bringing together theological and scientific approaches to the idea of enjoyment, Severin Kitanov exposes the intricacy of the discourse and develops a new perspective for students and scholars.
Marie Durand n’est pas très connue en dehors du monde protestant. Elle a passé 38 ans emprisonnée dans la Tour de Constance à Aigues-Mortes parce que son frère était un pasteur clandestin du xviiie siècle. Elle est surtout connue depuis le livre de Benoît en 1884. Mais c’est au début du xxe siècle qu’elle devient une personnification de la résistance pacifique au nom des droits de la conscience et de la tolérance et qu'elle accède à un statut d'héroïne. Cela (...) permet aussi à la Réforme un renouveau moral et spirituel. La référence à Marie Durand s'accentue en 1945 et culmine lors des cérémonies de 1968. Elle symbolise ainsi le protestantisme toujours persécuté, mais luttant de manière non-violente pour maintenir la foi. (shrink)
We are affected by the world: when I place my hand next to the fire, it becomes hot, and when I plunge it into the bucket of ice water, it becomes cold. What goes for physical changes also goes for at least some mental changes: when Felix the Cat leaps upon my lap, my lap not only becomes warm, but I also feel this warmth, and when he purrs, I hear his purr. It seems obvious, in other words, that perception (...) (at least, and at least under ordinary conditions) is a matter of being affected by the agency of perceptible objects. Call this doctrine affectionism. Durand of St.-Pourçain rejects affectionism. The paper has three parts. In the first part, I sketch, briefly, what motivates Durand to reject affectionism. In the second part, I will take up the affectionist doctrine as defended by Durand's older contemporary at Paris, Godfrey of Fontaines, who holds that the object of all our mental acts (not just perceptions, but also thoughts and desires) is the efficient cause of those acts, or, in other words, all mental acts (not just perception) come about owing to the affection of the relevant mental faculty by the agency of the object. As it turns out, Godfrey develops a celebrated argument against the thesis that the object is not the efficient cause but a mere sine qua non cause. Hence his position offers a challenge to Durand's position, a challenge, I argue in the third part, Durand meets. (shrink)
This book offers a lucid and highly readable account of Wittgenstein's philosophy, framed against the background of his extraordinary life and character. Woven together with a biographical narrative, the chapters explain the key ideas of Wittgenstein's work, from his first book, the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, to his mature masterpiece, the Philosophical Investigations. Severin Schroeder shows that at the core of Wittgenstein's later work lies a startlingly original and subversive conception of the nature of philosophy. In accordance with this conception, Wittgenstein offers (...) no new philosophical doctrines to replace his earlier ones, but seeks to demonstrate how all philosophical theorizing is the result of conceptual misunderstanding. He first diagnoses such misunderstanding at the core of his own earlier philosophy of language and then subjects philosophical views and problems about various mental phenomena understanding, sensations, the will to a similar therapeutic analysis. Schroeder provides a clear and careful account of the main arguments offered by Wittgenstein. He concludes by considering some critical responses to Wittgenstein's work, assessing its legacy for contemporary philosophy. -/- Wittgenstein is ideal for students seeking a clear and concise introduction to the work of this seminal twentieth-century philosopher. (shrink)
The present dissertation concerns cognitive psychology—theories about the nature and mechanism of perception and thought—during the High Middle Ages (1250–1350). Many of the issues at the heart of philosophy of mind today—intentionality, mental representation, the active/passive nature of perception—were also the subject of intense investigation during this period. I provide an analysis of these debates with a special focus on Durand of St.-Pourcain, a contemporary of John Duns Scotus and William of Ockham. Durand was widely recognized as a (...) leading philosopher until the advent of the early modern period, yet his views have been largely neglected in the last century. The aim of my dissertation, then, is to provide a new understanding of Durand’s cognitive psychology and to establish a better picture of developments in cognitive psychology during the period. Most philosophers in the High Middle Ages held, in one form or another, the thesis that most forms of cognition (thought, perception) involve the reception of the form of the object into the mind. Such forms in the mind explain what a given episode of cognition is about, its content. According to what has been called the conformality theory of content, the content of our mental states is fixed by this form in the mind. Durand rejects this thesis, and one of the primary theses that I pursue is that Durand replaces the conformality theory of content with a causal theory of content, according to which the content of our mental states is fixed by its cause. When I think about Felix and not Graycat, this is to be explained not by the fact that I have in my mind the form of Felix and not Graycat, but rather by the fact that Felix and not Graycat caused my thought. This is both a controversial interpretation and, indeed, a controversial theory. It is a controversial interpretation because Durand seems to reject the thesis that objects are the causes of our mental states. In the first half of the present dissertation, I argue that Durand does not reject this thesis but he rejects another nearby thesis: that objects as causes give to us ‘forms’. On Durand’s view, an object causes a mental state even though it does not give to us a new ‘form’. In the second half of the dissertation I defend Durand’s causal theory of content against salient objections to it. (shrink)
The growing interest and major advances of the last decades in evolutionary developmental biology (EvoDevo) have led to the recognition of the incompleteness of the Modern Synthesis of evolutionary theory. Here we discuss how paleontology makes significant contributions to integrate evolution and development. First, extinct organisms often inform us about developmental processes by showing a combination of features unrecorded in living species. We illustrate this point using the vertebrate fossil record and studies relating bone ossification to life history traits. Second, (...) we discuss exceptionally preserved fossils that document rare ontogenetic sequences and illustrate this case with the patterns of heterochrony observed in Cambrian crustacean larvae preserved three-dimensionally. Third, most fossils potentially document the evolutionary patterns of allometry and modularity, as well as some of the (paleo)ecological factors that had influenced them. The temporal persistence of adaptive patterns in rodent evolution serves to address the importance of ecological constraints in evolution. Fourth, we discuss how the macroevolutionary patterns observed in the tetrapod limb, in the mammal molar proportions, and in the molluscan shell provide independent tests of the validity of morphogenetic models proposed on living species. Reciprocally, these macroevolutionary patterns often act as a source of inspiration to investigate the underlying rules of development, because, at the end, they are the patterns that the neo-Darwinian theory was unable to account for. (shrink)
Durand of Saint-Pourçain's earliest treatment of cognitive habits is contained in his Sentences Commentary, Book 3, Distinction 23. In the first two questions, he discusses the ontological status of habits and their causal role, establishing his own unique view alongside the views of Godfrey of Fontaines and Hervaeus Natalis. What follows is the Latin text and an English translation of Durand's Sentences (A/B) III, d. 23, qq. 1-2.
For the last 25 years, human development has become part of official development discourses. It takes the normative position that the success of policies depends on whether they have expanded human flourishing, or expanded the 'freedoms' or 'capabilities' people have 'reason to value', as Amartya Sen would put it. It emphasises the importance of institutions to facilitate such expansion, and the agency of people to create such institutions. The ability of institutions to be conducive to human flourishing depends on the (...) nature of human interaction. When human interaction no longer has the flourishing of other persons as its aim, it can create structures which then constrain human agency. The article argues that the human development perspective could be enriched by theological insights such as structural sin and the contribution of religious narratives to public reasoning. It concentrates on the idea of justice of one biblical parable, and illustrates its argument with examples from the Argentine labour context. (shrink)
Social epigenetics – the study of the epigenetic mechanisms through which social environments become biologically embodied – epitomizes recent claims that the boundaries between the natural and the social sciences should be reduced. Relying on a bibliometric study and on a qualitative analysis of publications in social epigenetics, this article investigates how this research area defines and operationalizes the social dimensions that may have an impact on health status and disease risk. The article also addresses how the social sciences engage (...) with social epigenetics. First, the article traces social epigenetics back to five epistemic backgrounds – two in animal research and three in human studies. Second, it outlines the quest for epigenetic markers of social environments, and the associated expectations and controversies. Third, it analyses the three modes of engagement of the social sciences with human studies in social epigenetics: rejection ; warning and call for responsibility ; and support and active contribution. This article argues that recent developments in social epigenetics could strengthen this third mode of engagement and expand the scope of interdisciplinary collaboration between the natural and the social sciences. (shrink)
Among the many outstanding personalities of the Middle Ages, Severin Boethius, a brilliant representative of early Christian culture, stands out. The great connoisseur, sympathizer and popularizer of Aristotle Boethius' classical antique logic culture was, in fact, the first and last thinker of his time to understand so deeply the role and importance of his father's work of logic. He translated into Latin almost all his logical works, which, unfortunately, medieval theology and philosophy could not properly use.
Background: Informed consent in clinical research is mandated throughout the world. Both patient subjects and investigators are required to understand and accept the distinction between research and treatment.Aim: To document the extent and to identify factors associated with therapeutic misconception in a population of patient subjects or parent proxies recruited from a variety of multicentre trials .Patients and methods: The study comprised two phases: the development of a questionnaire to assess the quality of informed consent and a survey of patient (...) subjects based on this questionnaire.Results: A total of 303 patient subjects or parent proxies were contacted and 279 questionnaires were analysed. The median age was 49.5 years, sex ratio was 1 and 61% of respondents were professionally active. Overall memorisation of the oral or written communication of informed consent was good , and satisfaction with the process was around 70%. Therapeutic misconception was present in 70% of respondents, who expected to receive better care and ignored the consequence of randomisation and treatment comparisons. This was positively associated with the acuteness and severity of the disease.Conclusion: The authors suggest that the risk of therapeutic misconception be specifically addressed in consent forms as an educational tool for both patients and investigators. (shrink)
Most philosophers in the High Middle Ages agreed that what we immediately perceive are external objects. Yet most philosophers in the High Middle Ages also held, following Aristotle, that perception is a process wherein the perceiver takes on the form or likeness of the external object. This form or likeness — called a species — is a representation by means of which we immediately perceive the external object. Thomas Aquinas defended this thesis in one form, and Durand of St.-Pourçain, (...) his Dominican successor, rejects it. This paper explores Durand's novel criticism of Aquinas's species-theory of cognition. I first develop and defend a new interpretation of Durand's central criticism of Aquinas's theory of cognition. I close with some considerations about Durand's alternative to the theory. -/- . (shrink)
The articles assembled in this volume shed new light on Durand of Saint-Pourcain and his intellectual context. They reveal how current research is nuancing and challenging Joseph Koch's groundbreaking studies on Durand; they also propose directions for future research, particularly concerning the reception of Durand's philosophy and theology.
Wittgenstein offers three objections to the idea of aesthetics as a branch of psychology: Statistical data about people’s preferences have no normative force. Artistic value is not instrumental value, a capacity to produce independently identifiable – and scientifically measurable – psychological effects. While psychological investigations may bring to light the causes of aesthetic preferences, they fail to provide reasons for them. According to Wittgenstein, aesthetic explanations are poignant synoptic representations of aspects of a work, and the criterion of success of (...) an aesthetic explanation is that it satisfies the addressee. He repeatedly remarked that they resemble philosophical explanations, which also try to dispel puzzlement or confusion. The difference, however, is that whereas in philosophy we deal with general conceptual problems, aesthetic explanations typically concern individual responses to particular works of art. (shrink)
Facial race and sex cues can influence the magnitude of the happy categorisation advantage. It has been proposed that implicit race or sex based evaluations drive this influence. Within this account a uniform influence of social category cues on the happy categorisation advantage should be observed for all negative expressions. Support has been shown with angry and sad expressions but evidence to the contrary has been found for fearful expressions. To determine the generality of the evaluative congruence account, participants categorised (...) happiness with either sadness, fear, or surprise displayed on White male as well as White female, Black male, or Black female faces across three experiments. Faster categorisation of happy than negative expressions was observed for female faces when presented among White male faces, and for White male faces when presented among Black male faces. These results support the evaluative congruence account when both positive and negative expressions are presented. (shrink)
The capability approach constitutes a significant contribution to social theory but its potential is diminished by its insufficient treatment of the social construction of meaning. Social meanings enable people to make value judgements about what they will do and be, and also to evaluate how satisfied they are about what they are able to achieve. From this viewpoint, a person’s state of wellbeing must be understood as being socially and psychologically co-constituted in specific social and cultural contexts. In this light, (...) the telos of ‘living well’ which is at the heart of Sen’s version of the capability approach is inadequate and must be modified to a telos of ‘living well together’ which includes consideration of the social structures and institutions which enable people to pursue individual freedoms in relation to others. The policy significance of the capability approach can be further strengthened by paying greater consideration to the political economy of policy decision-making processes and the ways in which conflicts and distributions of power are institutionalized. (shrink)
The article revisits the originality of Hobbes's concept of happiness on the basis of Hobbes's two accounts found respectively in Thomas White's De Mundo Examined and Leviathan. It is argued that Hobbes's claim that happiness consists in the unhindered advance from one acquired good to another ought to be understood against the background of Hobbes's theory of sensation and the imagination, on the one hand, and Hobbes's doctrine of conatus, on the other. It is further claimed that the account of (...) happiness in White's De Mundo differs from that in Leviathan. In the former work, happiness is defined not as the mere progression from one good to another but as the joy/mental pleasure derived from the awareness of one's unhindered advance. The traditional claim that Hobbes is an ethical subjectivist is examined in connection with Hobbes's view of the subjectivity of happiness and the rejection of the summum bonum. Lastly, Hobbes's distinction between worldly and everlasting happiness is discussed. (shrink)