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61. The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 10
Marina Bykova The Philosophy of Subjectivity from Descartes to Hegel
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In the modern Continental tradition the word "subjectivity" is used to denote all that refers to a subject, its psychological-physical integrity represented by its mind, all that determines the unique mentality, mental state, and reactions of this subject. Subjectivity in this perspective has become on the Continent the central principle of philosophy.Modern Continental philosophy not only maintains the value of the subject and awakens an interest in genuine subjectivity. It evolves from the subject and subjective self-consciousness as Jundamento inconcusso. Thus modern Continental philosophy should be understood and discussed as a philosophy of subjectivity. This paper deals, on the one hand, with the philosophical-historical reconstruction of modern philosophy of subjectivity from Descartes to Hegel, and, on the other hand, with an analysis and evaluation of Hegel's systematic approach to subjectivity in terms of philosophical tradition, especially from the viewpoint of the realization of the idealistic program of selfconsciousness represented by German idealists.Focusing on the major lines of development of the theory of subjectivity in Continental philosophy from Descartes to Hegel, 1(1) discuss the quandaries of early modern philosophers concerning subject and subjectivity and their attempts to resolve these quandaries by developing the fundamentally new (in contrast to previous tradition) understanding of subjectivity; (2) show that the issue of subjectivity was the basic topic of transcendental idealism; and (3) introduce Hegel's approach to subjectivity and briefly define its novel character.
62. The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 10
Marcia Homiak The Continuous Activity of Ordinary Life
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Aristotle is right to argue that the best life is a life of unimpeded activity, but I believe he went wrong in thinking that ordinary human life is, or must be, far removed from the best life. To establish this claim, I offer a historical explanation of what unimpeded activity involves. I use the class of art patrons in Renaissance Florence to show how mathematical skills acquired in everyday life can be applied to widely differing tasks. As patrons extend their mathematical skills, their activities become more self-realizing and hence more continuous in Aristotle's sense. I argue that the activities of the Florentine patron class, to be sustained over time, require many of Aristotle's virtues. Examples like this show, I argue, that reasonably unimpeded activity is an important human good and that it is genuinely desirable to, and within the grasp of, ordinary people, even those who initially claim no interest in virtue.
63. The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 10
Daniel Graham The Sun's Light in Early Greek Thought
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In the sixth century BCE Ionian philosophers explained the sun as a mass of fire, sometimes as floating like a leaf or a cloud above the earth. It was thought to be fueled by moist vapors from the earth. In the f i f t h century philosophers typically envisaged the sun as a red-hot stone or a molten mass carried around by the force of a cosmic vortex. The decisive shift in explanations seems to result from the cosmology of Parmenides, who recognized that the moon received its light from the sun, and hence inferred that the heavenly bodies were spherical solid bodies. The new theory required a new account of how the sun came to be hot. The sun was said to be heated either by being in a fiery region or by friction. The discovery of a large meteorite seemed to confirm the fifth-century theory.
64. The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 10
Richard Fincham Hölderlin and Novalis: Reappropriating the Reflection Model of Self-Consciousness
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This paper draws upon my research into the posthumously published fragmentary remains of Hölderlin and Novalis's philosophical reflections to describe how their explanations of the possibility of self-consciousness are far more convincing than those provided by their philosophical contemporaries, and still have much to contribute to contemporary debates concerning the nature of 'consciousness' and 'selfhood.' The paper begins by sketching the background to their accounts of self-consciousness, that is, Fichte's critique of Kant's 'reflection model' of self-consciousness and the subsequent critique of Fichte's 'solution' to this problem by more orthodox Kantians (such as F. I . Niethammer). I shall then present an account of how Hölderlin and Novalis may be said to enact a 'synthesis' of the opposed Kantian and Fichtean positions, to formulate an account of self-consciousness that on one hand acknowledges the power of—in Henrich's words—Fichtes ursprüngliche Einsicht into the inadequacy of the Kantian 'reflection model,' whilst, on the other hand, re-appropriating such a 'reflection model.' They thus argue that I am only aware of myself as T by means of a reflective act (in which I in some sense become my own intentional object), whilst at the same time arguing that such awareness nevertheless involves a non-reflective 'dimension.' For Hölderlin and Novalis, therefore, consciousness is always intentionally directed, and yet in being intentionally directed, it is also non-reflectively related to itself or "self-luminous" sea conception of consciousness which has similarities with Sartre's conception of the 'pre-reflective cogito.'
65. The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 12
Ilkka Niiniluoto Abduction and Scientific Realism
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Many scientific realists think that the best reasons for scientific theories are abductive, i.e., must appeal to what is also called inference to the best explanation (IBE), while some anti-realists have argued that the use of abduction in defending realism is question-begging, circular, or incoherent. This paper studies the idea that abductive inference can be reformulated by taking its conclusion to concern the truthlikeness of a hypothetical theory on the basis of its success in explanation and prediction. The strength of such arguments is measured by the estimated verisimilitude of its conclusion given the premises. It is argued that this formulation helps to make precise and justifies the "ultimate argument for scientific realism": the empirical success of scientific theories would be a miracle unless they are truthlike.
66. The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 12
Ayhan Sol Entropy, Disorder, and Traces
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Traces are generally considered to constitute an ontologically distinct class of objects that can be distinguished from other objects. However, it can be observed on close inspection that the principles to demarcate traces from other objects are quite general, imprecise and intuitively unclear, except perhaps the entropic account envisaging traces as low entropy states. This view was developed by Hans Reichenbach, Adolf Grünbaum, and J. J. C. Smart on the basis of Reichenbach's theory of branch systems that are subsystems of wider systems. According to this theory, traces form within subsystems as low entropy states as a result of interaction with wider systems. It is also claimed that entropy is the measure of disorder, and that traces are ordered states. I argue that the concepts of entropy and disorder are used beyond their legitimate limits of application, for there are clear-cut counter-examples in the literature. I also analyze the concept of trace together with some examples from classical mechanics and geology in order to show that traces are determined relative to a particular context in which they are so defined.
67. The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 12
Peter Reynaert Phenomenology Encounters Cognitive Science: Naturalizing Conscious Embodiment
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The paper argues for the relevance of phenomenology for the contemporary debate about a naturalistic explanation of phenomenal c o n s c i o u s n e s s . Phenomenology's analysis of intentionality in terms of the conscious act, its representational content and the intentional object sustains an interpretation of qualia as intrinsic, nonrepresentational properties of the conscious mental acts themselves and not of their content. On the basis of this anti-representationalist clarification of the nature of qualia, the paper substantiates the claim for a more comprehensive naturalistic explanation of embodiment. A phenomenological, i.e. noetico-noematical, analysis of bodily experience helps to integrate the role of the lived body in accepted psycho-physical explanations of conscious embodiment (for instance of proprioception). Furthermore and more importantly, noetical phenomenology identifies a proper bodily self-awareness, consisting of sensations localized on the lived body, as the quale of conscious embodiment. It is maintained that naturalizing embodiment demands a radical explanation of the conditions of possibility of this bodily self-awareness.
68. The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 12
Ferda Keskin Volume Introduction
69. The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 12
Ioanna Kuçuradi Series Introduction
70. The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 12
Barry Stocker The Novel and Hegel's Philosophy of Literature
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Hegel's philosophy of literature, in the Aesthetics and other texts, gives no extended discussion of the novel. Hegel's predecessor Friedrich Schlegel had produced a philosophy of literature with a central position for the novel. Schlegel's discussion of the novel is based on a view of Irony which allows the novel to be the fusion of poetry and philosophy. Hegel retained a place for art, including poetry, below that of philosophy. The Ironic conception of the novel has themes, which also appear in Hegel, of the unity of opposites. However, for Hegel Irony does not allow the unity of artistic form and does not allow art to be guided by law and science. Therefore Hegel's philosophy of literature owes much to Schlegel but needs to attack Irony and minimise the role of the novel. Irony is criticised as a purely negative position of a 'beautiful soul', which cannot act and in its absolutely subjective resistance to evil in the world becomes evil itself. Hegel gives great importance to Epic which foreshadows the emergence of philosophy in its unity, but it is a unity based on conflicting individuality and lawlessness. In the modern world Heroic lawlessness can only be approached as nostalgia, the novel cannot integrate individuality and law, only religion and philosophy above aesthetics, including the novel.
71. The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 12
Contributors
72. The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 12
James Harold Imagining Evil (Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Sopranos)
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In this paper, I explore a set of moral questions about the portrayal of evil characters in fiction: might the portrayal of evil in fiction ever be morally wrong? If so, under what circumstances and for what reasons? What kinds of portrayals are morally wrong and what kinds are not? I argue that whether or not imagining evil is morally wrong depends on the formal and structural properties of the work.
73. The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 12
Mark Bevir Narrative as a Form of Explanation
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Many scholars have argued that history embodies a different form of explanation than natural science. This paper provides an analysis of narrative conceived as the form of explanation appropriate to history. In narratives, actions, beliefs, and pro-attitudes are joined to one another by means of conditional and volitional connections. Conditional connections exist when beliefs and pro-attitudes pick up themes contained in one another, where the nature of such themes can be analysed by reference to the non-necessary and non-arbitrary nature of conditionality. Volitional connections exist when agents command themselves to do something, having decided to do it because of a pro-attitude they hold. The paper uses examples to indicate how conditional and volitional connections can explain large-scale change as well as individual actions.
74. The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 12
Peter Loptson Re-Examining the 'End of History' Idea and World History since Hegel
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This paper offers an analysis of central features of modern world history which suggest a confirmation, and extension, of something resembling Fukuyama's Kojeve-Hegel *end of history' thesis. As is well known, Kojeve interpreted Hegel as having argued that in a meaningful sense history, as struggle and endeavour to achieve workable stasis in the mutual relations of selves and state-society collectivities, literally came to an end with Napoleon's 1806 victory at the battle of Jena. That victory led to the establishment or consolidation of a European system which significantly embodied the conceptually ideal roles and mutual relations of individual, state, law, and culture (including religious culture), in the aggregated states ruled or presided over by Napoleon. For Hegel the universal structures which constitute the progression of the Absolute are importantly independent of the actual concrete historical individuals and doings which embody and implement them. Once realized upon the earth, the idea of a civil society living, under law, with a sustainable religious and national normative ideology is inexpungible. Even if it has for a time dimmed, it will resurface and re-present itself, and, for Kojeve, has done so, in the gradual articulation of European union and the formations of the League of Nations and its successor the United Nations, in the world that is still our present world. It is much of this model that Fukuyama adopted, and conceived, more explicitly than perhaps either Hegel or Kojeve had done, as a realized triangulation of democracy, liberal individual rights ideology, and capitalism. The realization came to the fore, in Fukuyama's view, in the matrix of the events set in motion by the fall of communism in the European world in 1989. Contrary to Fukayama, of course, there has been rather a lot of 'history' very dramatically in the years in and since 1989, and of course especially explosively in 2001. This recent history notwithstanding, the end of history thesis seems plausible and defensible. Four large geopolitical struggles may be identified, as constituting sequential clusters of argument aimed at determining the human telos, or end-state. They constitute also a sequence of reductios of blueprints that are rivals to the liberalism-democracy-capitalism complex. The four are World War I and the geopolitical struggles between Liberal modernism and fascism, communism, and Islamism. Analyses of these four struggles are offered and defended.
75. The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 12
Name Index
76. The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 12
Stephanie Theodorou Two Theories of Ontological Disclosure: The Metaphoric Representation of Being in Ricoeur's Hermeneutics
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How do metaphors and symbols embedded in sacred texts and narratives refigure meaning in the worlds of texts and readers? This is one of the problems that drives Paul Ricoeur's hermeneutic theory, where symbolic language moves beyond the constraints of denotation to enable us to interpret human experience in a plurivocal, rather than univocal ways. In my essay I examine Ricoeur's adherence to a disclosive theory of language, borrowed from Heidegger, and argue that it does not provide an adequate theory of linguistic reference. Ricoeur does not give a structural explanation for how it is that the new meaning provided by metaphors actually impacts upon the cognitive dimensions of the interpretive process. I argue that Hegel's analysis of language is stronger in that it includes a discussion of the perceptual and cognitive stages of understanding, which include moments of hermeneutic "reversal"; here we see how it is that language simultaneously refers to and mediates experience. This might become the basis for developing a stronger explanatory model of the refiguring process which Ricoeur describes.
77. The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 12
Damian Norris, T. Brian Mooney Merleau-Ponty on Human Motility
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This paper argues that human motility is essentially bound up in a pre-reflective being-in-the-world, and that contemporary science seems to bear out some of Merleau-Ponty's phenomenological explorations in this area.
78. The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 12
Dean Komel Hermeneutics and the Historical Question of Philosophy
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The underlying premise of this essay is that the essential contribution of the hermeneutic turn in contemporary philosophy is the acknowledgment of a historical criterion of thinking, whereby the philosophical tradition is claimed by the question of its own truth. Philosophy, historically established by founding experience in truth, thus finds itself facing the open experience of truth, i.e. the truth as the coming about of the openness. Philosophical hermeneutics, as differing from hermeneutic philosophy, cannot limit itself solely to interpretative criticism. Rather, it must follow the opening of truth primarily happening in transit from thinking to language. And the moment of this transit is the question of ourselves.
79. The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 12
Nona R. Bolin Hannah Arendt: The Work of Technology
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Tracing the historical and theoretical distinctions between labor and work from the early Greeks to the present, Hannah Arendt presents a compelling analysis of the nature of our technological crisis. Western culture has been formed through a dominant understanding of human existence and instrumental thinking that have inevitably led to a crisis in the way we understand ourselves and relate to the world. Owing much to her contemporary, Martin Heidegger, Arendt sees the roots of the environmental crisis to be embedded in our inheritance of thinking and building.
80. The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 12
Erkut Sezgin Language and World: The Human Aspect That's Missing from Scientific Reality
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The purpose of this paper is to point out the logical priority of the existential grounds of picturing reality by means of scientific representations, hypotheses as such. Also, to clarify the meaning of the inscribing and reading of the picture in terms of the existential conditions and facts of the human being who acts and reacts for survival, and who interprets its surroundings in connection with the train of consequences that connects up with this human action. The surrounding world thus is recognized and interpreted in terms of playing and operating with signs, the significations of which make up the horizons of the world of the human being. This clarification is needed to throw light on how concepts mean in the application of words in language. And the clarity reached at this stage helps for us to clarify further the meaning of thinking and its relation to language-use in terms of playing and operating with signs in the conditions of the surrounding world, the action of the human body in its existential situation. Hence, the logical priority of the human condition in terms of the use and application of signs in the existential world of human being differs from the analytical representations of the world in science for scientific purposes. Which means that the representations of science are tools of the language, and that they are to be treated and interpreted as signs used to represent reality only in the scientific contexts, for the purposes of the language of science and scientific culture. Without such clarity, representations of science, scientific descriptions of reality are open to misinterpretation even by scientists and philosophers, let alone layman, to be so generalized to extend the bounds of its meaningful application in the scientific context of explaining or describing phenomena experimented, or observed under certain experimental conditions.