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This book is an experiment. Inspired by the bizarre and uncanny, it is an attempt to use science and rationality to lift the veil off the irrational. Its ways are unconventional: weaving along its path one finds UFOs and fairies, quantum mechanics, analytic philosophy, history, mathematics, and depth psychology. The enterprise of constructing a coherent story out of these incommensurable disciplines is exploratory. But if the experiment works, at the end these disparate threads will come together to unveil a startling scenario about the nature of reality. The payoff is handsome: a reason for hope, a boost for the imagination, and the promise of a meaningful future. Yet this book may confront some of your dearest notions about truth and reason. Its conclusions cannot be dismissed lightly, because the evidence this book compiles and the philosophy it leverages are solid in the orthodox, academic sense.
The Greeks and Romans lived according to a distinctively Hellenic conception of time as an aspect of cosmic order and regularity. Appropriating ideas from Egypt and the Near East, the Greeks integrated them into a cosmological framework governed by mathematics and linking the cycles of the heavenly bodies to the human environment. From their cosmology they derived instruments for measuring and tracking the passage of time that were sophisticated embodiments of scientific reasoning and technical craft, meant not solely for the study of specialists and connoisseurs but for the public gaze. Time and Cosmos in Greco-Roman Antiquity, the accompanying catalogue for the exhibition at the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, New York University, explores through thematic essays and beautiful illustrations the practical as well as the artistic, ideological, and spiritual role of time technology and time imagery in the Mediterranean civilizations. Highlights among the more than one hundred objects from the exhibition include marvelously inventive sundials and portable timekeeping devices, stone and ceramic calendars, zodiac boards for displaying horoscopes, and mosaics, sculptures, and coins that reflect ancient perceptions of the controlling power of time and the heavens. Contributors include James Evans, Dorian Gieseler Greenbaum, Stephan Heilen, Alexander Jones, Daryn Lehoux, Karlheinz Schaldach, John Steele, and Bernhard Weisser. Exhibition Dates: October 19, 2016-April 23, 2017 Cover photograph (c) Bruce M. White, 2016
The essays contained in Beyond the Juxtaposition of Nature and Culture represent an attempt by scholars from Canada, Germany, and Mexico to come to grips with the innovative work of the American philosopher and anthropologist Lawrence Krader who has proposed nothing less than a new theory of nature, according to which there are at least three different orders-the material-biotic, the quantum, and the human-which differ from one another according to their different configurations of space-time, and which cannot be reduced the one to the others. Each author takes up Krader's theory in relation to its impact on their own discipline: sociology, anthropology, the study of myth, the theory of labor and value, economics, linguistics, and aesthetics. The question of how nature and culture can be integrated within a theoretical framework which links them in difference and nexus and allows each their non-reductive space leads each of the contributors to move in their thinking beyond the old dualisms of materialism and idealism, fact and value, nature and culture.
Propositions has two main goals. The first is to show that there are propositions. The second is to defend an account of their nature. While pursuing these goals, Trenton Merricks draws a variety of controversial conclusions about related issues, including, among others, supervaluationism, the nature of possible worlds, truths about non-existent entities, and whether and how logical consequence depends on modal facts. An argument is modally valid just in case, necessarily, if its premises are true, then its conclusion is true. Propositions begins with the assumption that some arguments are modally valid. Merricks then argues that the premises and conclusions of modally valid arguments are not sentences. Instead, he argues, they are propositions. So, because there are modally valid arguments, there are propositions. Merricks defends the claim that propositions are not structured and are not sets of possible worlds. He thereby presents arguments against the two leading accounts of the nature of propositions. Those arguments are intended not only to oppose those accounts, but also to deliver conclusions about what a satisfactory account of the nature of propositions should say. Of particular importance in this regard are arguments concerning the alleged explanations of how a set of possible worlds or a structured proposition would manage to represent thing as being a certain way. Merricks then defends his own account of the nature of propositions, which says only that each proposition is a necessary existent that essentially represents things as being a certain way.
Our world is nested, both physically and socially, and at each level we find innovations that are necessary for the next. Consider: atoms combine to form molecules, molecules combine to form single-celled organisms; when people come together, they build societies. Physics has gone far in mapping the basic mechanics of the simplest things and the dynamics of the overall nesting, as have biology and the social sciences for their fields. But what can we say about this beautifully complex whole? How does one stage shape another, and what can we learn about human existence through understanding an enlarged field of creation and being? In Quarks to Culture, Tyler Volk answers these questions, revealing how a universal natural rhythm-building from smaller things into larger, more complex things-resulted in a grand sequence of twelve fundamental levels across the realms of physics, biology, and culture. He introduces the key concept of "combogenesis," the building-up from combination and integration to produce new things with innovative relations. He explores common themes in how physics and chemistry led to biological evolution, and biological evolution to cultural evolution. Volk also provides insights into linkages across the sciences and fields of scholarship, and presents an exciting synthesis of ideas along a sequence of things and relations, from physical to living to cultural. The resulting inclusive natural philosophy brings clarity to our place in the world, offering a roadmap for those who seek to understand big history and wrestle with questions of how we came to be.
This book, the text of Martin Heidegger's lecture course of 1929/30, is crucial for an understanding of Heidegger's transition from the major work of his early years, Being and Time, to his later preoccupations with language, truth, and history. First published in German in 1983 as volume 29/30 of Heidegger s collected works, The Fundamental Concepts of Metaphysics presents an extended treatment of the history of metaphysics and an elaboration of a philosophy of life and nature. Heidegger s concepts of organism, animal behavior, and environment are uniquely developed and defined with intensity. Of major interest is Heidegger's brilliant phenomenological description of the mood of boredome, which he describes as a "fundamental attunement" of modern times."
The Oxford Classical Texts, or Scriptorum Classicorum Bibliotheca Oxoniensis, are renowned for their reliability and presentation. The series consists of a text without commentary but with a brief apparatus criticus at the foot of each page. There are now over 100 volumes, representing the greater part of classical Greek and Latin literature.
This book investigates the relationship between poetry and ontology in the works of Martin Heidegger. It explains the way in which Heidegger's dialogue with poetry forms an essential step on the path of overcoming metaphysics and thinking the openness of presence. Heidegger's engagement with poetry is an important moment in the development of his philosophy-or rather thinking of Being. Being speaks itself poetically in his view. Rather than a logician or a thinker, Being is the first poet.
John McDowell is one of the most widely read philosophers in recent years. His engagement with a philosophy of language, mind and ethics and with philosophers ranging from Aristotle and Wittgenstein to Hegel and Gadamer make him one of the most original and outstanding philosophical thinkers of the post-war period. In this clear and engaging book, Tim Thornton introduces and examines the full range of McDowell's thought. After a helpful introduction setting out McDowell's general view of philosophy, Thornton introduces and explains the following topics: Wittgenstein on philosophy, normativity and understanding; value judgements; theories of meaning and sense; singular thought and Cartesianism; perceptual experience and knowledge, disjunctivism and openness to the world; Mind and World, the content of perceptual experience and idealism; action and the debate with Hubert Dreyfus on conceptual content and skilled coping. This second edition has been significantly revised and expanded to include new sections on: McDowell's work on disjunctivism and criticisms of it; a new chapter on McDowell's modification of his account of perceptual experience and conceptual content, and criticisms by Charles Travis; and a new chapter on action and McDowell's engagement with Hubert Dreyfus and the debate concerning skilled coping and mindedness. The addition of a glossary and suggestions for further reading makes John McDowell, second edition essential reading for those studying McDowell, philosophy of language, philosophy of mind, ethics and epistemology, as well as for students of the recent history of analytical philosophy generally.
Thomas Sattig develops and defends a novel philosophical picture of ordinary objects, such as persons, tables, trees, and mountains. His theory carves a middle way between the two accounts that have dominated traditional metaphysics of material objects, namely, classical mereology and Aristotelian hylomorphism. It answers metaphysical, semantical, and psychological questions in a unified framework: What is the nature of ordinary objects? How do we speak about such objects? And how do we conceive of them? The core thesis is that ordinary objects lead double lives: they are compounds of matter and form; and since their matter and form have different qualitative profiles, ordinary objects can be described differently from different conceptual perspectives. A philosophical theory of ordinary objects faces the hard task of saving our common-sense conception of objects from a wide range of hard problems that present our familiar worldview as internally inconsistent and as incompatible with plausible metaphysical principles. The book argues that the proposed theory does a better job than its rivals in saving the appearances. The key that unlocks each problem is that seemingly inconsistent judgements about objects are really consistent because they manifest different perspectives on the same double-layered objects. Many long-standing philosophical mysteries about ordinary objects dissolve, once we realize that they lead double lives. The theory contributes to a wide variety of philosophical debates, including those about parts and composition, persistence, coincidence and constitution, personal identity, modality de re, the grounding problem, determinism, vague objects, the problem of the many, and relativistic metaphysics.
In the decades following Quine, debates about existence have taken center stage in the metaphysics. But neo-Quinean ontology has reached a crisis point, given the endless proliferation of positions and lack of any clear idea of how to resolve debates. The most prominent challenge to mainstream ontological debates has come from the idea that disputants can be seen as using the quantifier with different meanings, leaving the dispute merely verbal. Nearly all of the work in defense of hard ontology has gone into arguing against quantifier variance. This volume argues that hard ontology faces an entirely different challenge, which remains even if the threat of quantifier variance can be avoided. The challenge comes from the 'easy approach to ontology': a view that is arguably the heir to Carnap's own position. The idea of the easy approach is that many ontological questions can be answered by undertaking trivial inferences from uncontroversial premises, making prolonged disputes about the questions out of place. This book aims to develop the easy approach to ontology, showing how it leads to both a first-order simple realism about the disputed entities and a form of meta-ontological deflationism that takes ontological disputes themselves to be misguided, since existence questions may be answered by straightforward conceptual and/or empirical work. It also aims to defend the easy approach against a range of arguments wielded against it and to show it to be a viable and attractive alternative to the quagmire of hard ontology.
With the advent of the new millennium, the notion of the future, and of time in general, has taken on greater significance in postmodern thought. Although the equally pervasive and abstract concept of space has generated a vast body of disciplines, time, and the related idea of "becoming" (transforming, mutating and metamorphosing) have until now received little theoretical attention.
This volume explores the ontological, epistemic, and political implications of rethinking time as a dynamic and irreversible force. Drawing on ideas from the natural sciences, as well as from literature, philosophy, politics, and cultural analyses, its authors seek to stimulate further research in both the sciences and the humanities which highlights the temporal foundations of matter and culture.
The first section of the volume, "The Becoming of the World, " provides a broad introduction to the concepts of time. The second section, "Knowing and Doing Otherwise, " addresses the forces within cultural and intellectual practices which produce various becomings and new futures. It also analyzes how alternative models of subjectivity and corporeality may be generated through different conceptions of time. "Global Futures, " the third section, considers the possibilities for the social, political, and cultural transformation of individuals and nations.
The question of the relationship between mind and body as posed by Descartes, Spinoza, and others remains a fundamental debate for philosophers. In "Damasio's Error and Descartes' Truth," Andrew Gluck constructs a pluralistic response to the work of neurologist Antonio Damasio. Gluck critiques the neutral monistic assertions found in "Descartes' Error "and "Looking for Spinoza" from a philosophical perspective, advocating an adaptive theory--physical monism in the natural sciences, dualism in the social sciences, and neutral monism in aesthetics. Gluck's work is a significant and refreshing take on a historical debate.
In A Secular Age, Charles Taylor, faced with contemporary challenges to belief, issues a call for "new and unprecedented itineraries" that might be capable of leading seekers to encounter God. In Spiritual Exercises for a Secular Age, Ryan G. Duns demonstrates that William Desmond's philosophy has the resources to offer a compelling response to Taylor. To show how, Duns makes use of the work of Pierre Hadot. In Hadot's view, the point of philosophy is "not to inform but to form"-that is, not to provide abstract answers to abstruse questions but rather to form the human being such that she can approach reality as such in a new way. Drawing on Hadot, Duns frames Desmond's metaphysical thought as a form of spiritual exercise. So framed, Duns argues, Desmond's metaphysics attunes its readers to perceive disclosure of the divine in the everyday. Approached in this way, studying Desmond's metaphysics can transform how readers behold reality itself by attuning them to discern the presence of God, who can be sought, and disclosed through, all things in the world. Spiritual Exercises for a Secular Age offers a readable and engaging introduction to the thought of Charles Taylor and William Desmond, and demonstrates how practicing metaphysics can be understood as a form of spiritual exercise that renews in its practitioners an attentiveness to God in all things. As a unique contribution at the crossroads of theology and philosophy, it will appeal to readers in continental philosophy, theology, and religious studies broadly.
The essays in Object-Oriented Feminism explore OOF: a feminist intervention into recent philosophical discourses-like speculative realism, object-oriented ontology (OOO), and new materialism-that take objects, things, stuff, and matter as primary. Object-oriented feminism approaches all objects from the inside-out position of being an object too, with all of its accompanying political and ethical potentials. This volume places OOF thought in a long history of ongoing feminist work in multiple disciplines. In particular, object-oriented feminism foregrounds three significant aspects of feminist thinking in the philosophy of things: politics, engaging with histories of treating certain humans (women, people of color, and the poor) as objects; erotics, employing humor to foment unseemly entanglements between things; and ethics, refusing to make grand philosophical truth claims, instead staking a modest ethical position that arrives at being "in the right" by being "wrong." Seeking not to define object-oriented feminism but rather to enact it, the volume is interdisciplinary in approach, with contributors from a variety of fields, including sociology, anthropology, English, art, and philosophy. Topics are frequently provocative, engaging a wide range of theorists from Heidegger and Levinas to Irigaray and Haraway, and an intriguing diverse array of objects, including the female body as fetish object in Lolita subculture; birds made queer by endocrine disruptors; and truth claims arising in material relations in indigenous fiction and film. Intentionally, each essay can be seen as an "object" in relation to others in this collection. Contributors: Irina Aristarkhova, University of Michigan; Karen Gregory, University of Edinburgh; Marina Grzinic, Slovenian Academy of Science and Arts; Frenchy Lunning, Minneapolis College of Art and Design; Timothy Morton, Rice University; Anne Pollock, Georgia Tech; Elizabeth A. Povinelli, Columbia University; R. Joshua Scannell, CUNY Graduate Center; Adam Zaretsky, VASTAL.
The publication of Form and Object: A Treatise on Things by Tristan Garcia, Prix de Flore-winning novelist, philosopher, essayist and screenwriter, is a genuine event in the history of philosophy. Situating this event within classical, modern and contemporary dialectical space, Jon Cogburn evaluates Garcia's metaphysics, differential ontology and militant anti-reductionism through a series of seemingly incompatible oppositions: substance/process, analysis/dialectic, simple/whole and discovery/creation. Cogburn also includes a critical assessment of the consequences of Garcia's philosophy, the various unresolved problems in his treatise and the future prospects of speculative metaphysics.
This book discusses the philosophy of influential contemporary philosopher Peter van Inwagen. Looking at perennial philosophical problems from a modern point of view, Peter van Inwagen's philosophy masterfully combines positions that have been considered irreconcilable: incompatibilism concerning free will, materialism, organicism, theism and realism concerning fictional entities. As readers will discover, his arguments are witty, surprising and deep. The book includes Peter van Inwagen's Munster Lecture of 2015 on free will, as well as eleven papers from the Munster colloquium discussing central themes of his philosophy, and a reply to each paper by Peter van Inwagen himself. Introducing his philosophy and relating his work to other contemporary views, this book is of interest to graduate students and professionals in philosophy alike.
This is the first English translation of Proclus' commentary on Plato's Parmenides. Glenn Morrow's death occurred while he was less than halfway through the translation, which was completed by John Dillon. A major work of the great Neoplatonist philosopher, the commentary is an intellectual tour de force that greatly influenced later medieval and Renaissance thought. As the notes and introductory summaries explain, it comprises a full account of Proclus' own metaphysical system, disguised, as is so much Neoplatonic philosophy, in the form of a commentary.
There has been a philosophical upheaval recently in our understanding of the metaphysics of the mind. The philosophy of mind and action has traditionally treated its subject matter as consisting of states and events, and completely ignored the category of ongoing process. So the mental things that happen - experiences and actions - have been taken to be completed events and not ongoing processes. But events by their very nature as completed wholes are never present to the agent or subject; only ongoing processes can be present to a subject in the way required for conscious experience and practical self-knowledge. This suggests that a proper understanding of processes is required to understand subjective experience and agency. This volume explores the possibility and advantages of taking processes to be the subject matter of the philosophy of mind and action. The central defining feature of the process argument is its use of the progressive (as opposed to perfective) aspect. But beyond this, philosophers working on the metaphysics of processes do not agree. The contributors to this volume take up this argument in the metaphysics of processes. Are processes continuants? Are they particulars at all, or should we rather be thinking of process activity as a kind of stuff? Process, Action, and Experience considers whether practical reasoning and practical self-knowledge require thinking of action in process terms, and it considers arguments for the processive nature of conscious experience.
This book is about our ordinary concept of matter in the form of enduring continuants and the processes in which they are involved in the macroscopic realm. It emphasises what science rather than philosophical intuition tells us about the world, and chemistry rather than the physics that is more usually encountered in philosophical discussions. The central chapters dealing with the nature of matter pursue key steps in the historical development of scientific conceptions of chemical substance. Like many contemporary discussions of material objects, it relies heavily on mereology. The classical principles are applied to the mereological structure of regions of space, intervals of time, processes and quantities of matter. Quantities of matter, which don't gain or lose parts over time, are distinguished from individuals, which are typically constituted of different quantities of matter at different times. The proper treatment of the temporal aspect of the features of material objects is a central issue in this book, which is addressed by investigating the conditions governing the application of predicates relating time and other entities. Of particular interest here are relations between quantities of matter and times expressing substance kind, phase and mixture. Modal aspects of these features are taken up in the final chapter.
The topic of this book is material objects. Like most interesting concepts, the concept of a material object is one without precise boundaries. A thing is a material object if it occupies space and endures through time and can move about in space (literally move about, unlike a shadow or a wave or a reflection) and has a surface, and has a mass and is made of a certain stuff or stuffs.
Much of the most interesting work in philosophy today is metaphysical in character. Oxford Studies in Metaphysics is a forum for the best new work in this flourishing field. OSM offers a broad view of the subject, featuring not only the traditionally central topics such as existence, identity, modality, time, and causation, but also the rich clusters of metaphysical questions in neighbouring fields, such as philosophy of mind and philosophy of science. Besides independent essays, volumes will often contain a critical essay on a recent book, or a symposium that allows participants to respond to one another's criticisms and questions. Anyone who wants to know what's happening in metaphysics can start here.
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