dunnettreader + determinism   27

Book Event: Jenny Davidson’s "Breeding: A Partial History of the 18thC" | The Valve - A Literary Organ |- May 2009
Note - this doesn't appear organized by tag in their archives
Book Event: Jenny Davidson’s Breeding
Posted by Scott Eric Kaufman on 05/25/09
Beginning tomorrow, The Valve will be hosting a book event on Jenny Davidson‘s Breeding: A Partial History of the Eighteenth Century. Peter Gay has already reviewed the book for Bookforum, which is rather remarkable when you consider this was an academic book published by a university press—then again, it’s a rather remarkable book.
The introduction and first two chapters are available online.
cultural_history  Enlightenment  evolution  reviews  aristocracy  mechanism  18thC  inheritance  books  literary_history  Scottish_Enlightenment  novels  nature-nurture  fiction  nobility  intellectual_history  materialism  character-formation  social_order  determinism  human_nature  natural_history  French_Enlightenment 
june 2017 by dunnettreader
Maja Alexandra Nazaruk - Contre la prestance du déterminisme social: Bourdieu et Melançon (pages 187-200) | Symposion. Theoretical and Applied Inquiries in Philosophy and Social Sciences - April 2015
Maja Alexandra Nazaruk

ABSTRACT: Focused on the notion of the threshold of objectivity, my article dissects the empirical mirror-glass of the philosophy of Joseph Melançon. I propose to thrust this emblematic perspective of determinist discourse against the literary turn, acclaimed for its underpinning ambiguous subjectivity – here notably made relevant by Pierre Bourdieu. Both discursive practices complete each other and reject each other in a self-feeding spiral: incessant motivation for a hybrid, vexing study of mutual tensions.
application-pdf Download PDF via iPhone to DBOX
ontology-social  Melaçon  contingency  Bourdieu  downloaded  determinism  social_theory  article 
may 2016 by dunnettreader
Leo Damrosh - The Enlightenment: Invention of the Modern Self | The Great Courses
Enlightenment Invention of the Modern Self - from opening views in 17thC, through stages of the Enlightenment - a road to its (inevitable?) backlash in Romanticism
24 lectures
Only available as Audio download (and streaming) - list price $130
Rave reviews
Uses literary works and philosophical texts together
Frex completes the 2 lectures on British empiricism (focus on Locke and Hume re the self) with how Pope struggles with capturing complex psychology within the empiricist framework
After an introduction of 17thC religious and secular conceptions of the self, starts with 2 on La Princesse de Clèves
After empiricism, 2 on Voltaire and theodicy in Candide
3 lectures on Diderot and Jacques le fataliste
A lot of Rousseau - not the novels but the autobiographical works - how he analyzes himself in Confessions and Solitary Walker
Lots of biography, with Boswell's Johnson the vehicle
Some Franklin and Smith
Finishes with Laclos and Blake
Romanticism  bibliography  reason-passions  poetry  Boswell  self  moral_psychology  French_Enlightenment  Enlightenment  English_lit  French_Revolution-impact  Rousseau  free_will  Locke-education  buy  human_nature  Diderot  Blake_William  Locke  Hume-causation  autobiography  17thC  Rousseau-self  Hume-ethics  altruism  Johnson  Voltaire  novels  empiricism  18thC  moral_philosophy  Locke-Essay  intellectual_history  cultural_history  Pope_Alexander  courses  French_lit  Smith  Hume  determinism  epistemology  emotions  character  audio  psychology 
april 2016 by dunnettreader
John Sellars - Stoic Fate in Justus Lipsius’s De Constantia and Physiologia Stoicorum (2014) | Academia.edu
Publication: Journal of the History of Philosophy, Oct 2014 In his De Constantia of 1584, Justus Lipsius examines the Stoic theory of fate, distancing himself from it by outlining four key points at which it should be modified. The modified theory is often presented as a distinctly Christianized form of Stoicism. Later, in his Physiologia Stoicorum of 1604, Lipsius revisits the Stoic theory, this time offering a more sympathetic reading, with the four modifications forgotten. It is widely assumed that Lipsius’s position shifted between these two works, perhaps due to a better grasp of the Stoic position by the time of the later work. I argue that in fact there is no great distance between the two accounts and that both find only one point of difficulty with the Stoic theory, a point that Lipsius himself presents in both works as merely a matter of expression. -- Keywords: Stoicism, Neostoicism, Justus Lipsius, and Stoic Tradition -- downloaded pdf to Note
article  Academia.edu  intellectual_history  16thC  17thC  Renaissance  Europe-Early_Modern  Stoicism  fate  Providence  free_will  determinism  Justus_Lipsius  Seneca  moral_philosophy  Neostoicism  bibliography  downloaded 
november 2015 by dunnettreader
Table of contents - John Sellars, ed. - The Routledge Handbook of the Stoic Tradition (Feb 2016) | Academia.edu
Introduction | Stoicism in Rome | Stoicism in Early Christianity | Plotinus and the Platonic Response to Stoicism | Augustine’s Debt to Stoicism in the Confessions | Boethius and Stoicism | Stoic Themes in Peter Abelard and John of Salisbury | Stoic Influences in the Later Middle Ages | The Recovery of Stoicism in the Renaissance | Stoicism in the Philosophy of the Italian Renaissance | Erasmus, Calvin, and the Faces of Stoicism in Renaissance and Reformation Thought | Justus Lipsius and Neostoicism | Shakespeare and Early Modern English Literature | Medicine of the Mind in Early Modern Philosophy | Stoic Themes in Early Modern French Thought | Spinoza and Stoicism | Leibniz and the Stoics: Fate, Freedom, and Providence | The Epicurean Stoicism of the French Enlightenment | Stoicism and the Scottish Enlightenment | Kant and Stoic Ethics | Stoicism in Nineteenth Century German Philosophy | Stoicism and Romantic Literature | Stoicism in Victorian Culture | Stoicism in America | Stoic Themes in Contemporary Anglo-American Ethics | Stoicism and Twentieth Century French Philosophy | The Stoic Influence on Modern Psychotherapy
books  intellectual_history  Stoicism  ancient_philosophy  Epictetus  Seneca  Early_Christian  late_antiquity  Neoplatonism  Augustine  Abelard  John_of_Salisbury  medieval_philosophy  Renaissance  Italian_Renaissance  Italy  Shakespeare  Shakespeare-influence  Erasmus  Reformation  Calvin  Justus_Lipsius  Neostoicism  philosophy-as-way-of-life  psychology  self  self-examination  self-knowledge  self-development  early_modern  Europe-Early_Modern  16thC  17thC  18thC  19thC  20thC  Spinoza  Leibniz  fate  determinism  Providence  free_will  freedom  French_Enlightenment  Epicurean  Scottish_Enlightenment  Kant-ethics  German_Idealism  German_scholars  neo-Kantian  Romanticism  literary_history  analytical_philosophy  psychoanalysis  phenomenology 
november 2015 by dunnettreader
John Sellars - Is God a Mindless Vegetable? Cudworth on Stoic Theology (2011) | Academia.edu
Intellectual History Review 21/2 (2011), 121-33 -- In the late sixteenth century a number of influential writers claimed Stoicism to be compatible with Christianity but by the mid eighteenth century, Stoicism had come to be associated with atheism. What happened during the course of the reception of Stoicism in the intervening period? While it remains unclear who was the first person to call the Stoics atheists, there is no doubt that the most philosophically sustained analysis of Stoic theology during this period is to be found in Ralph Cudworth's True Intellectual System of the Universe, published in 1678. Cudworth's aim in this work is to catalogue and then attack all existing forms of atheism and one of the four principal forms of atheism he identifies he calls ‘Stoical’. However, in Cudworth's complex taxonomy of different forms of theism and atheism, Stoicism appears twice, first as a form of atheism but also as a form of imperfect theism. The aim of this study is to examine Cudworth's claims about Stoic theology, assessing their fairness, but also placing them within the wider context of the early modern reception of Stoicism. -- Keywords: Atheism, Stoicism, Cambridge Platonism, and Ralph Cudworth -- downloaded pdf to Note
article  Academia.edu  intellectual_history  17thC  18thC  Stoicism  theology  atheism  determinism  God-existence  God-attributes  Cambridge_Platonists  Cudworth  downloaded 
november 2015 by dunnettreader
John Sellars, Stoics Against Stoics in Cudworth's A Treatise of Freewill (2012) | Academia.edu
British Journal for the History of Philosophy 20/5 (2012), 935-52 -- In his A Treatise of Freewill, Ralph Cudworth argues against Stoic determinism by drawing on what he takes to be other concepts found in Stoicism, notably the claim that some things are ‘up to us’ (ἐφ᾽ ἡμῖν) and that these things are the product of our choice (προαίρεσις). These concepts are central to the late Stoic Epictetus and it appears at first glance as if Cudworth is opposing late Stoic voluntarism against early Stoic determinism. This paper argues that in fact, despite his claim to be drawing on Stoic doctrine, Cudworth uses these terms with a meaning first articulated only later, by the Peripatetic commentator Alexander of Aphrodisias. -- Keywords: Stoicism, Alexander of Aphrodisias, Cambridge Platonism, Epictetus, Freewill and Determinism, and Ralph Cudworth -- downloaded pdf to Note
article  Academia.edu  intellectual_history  Stoicism  ancient_philosophy  Epictetus  determinism  free_will  late_antiquity  Alexander_of_Aphrodisias  Cambridge_Platonists  Cudworth  17thC  18thC  downloaded 
november 2015 by dunnettreader
G. A. Wells - Herder's Determinism | JSTOR - Journal of the History of Ideas (1958)
Journal of the History of Ideas, Vol. 19, No. 1 (Jan., 1958), pp. 105-113 -- see also his follow up on how the German historicist school (Meinecke et al) found what they wanted to in Herder's works, distorting Herder in the process -- downloaded pdf to Note
article  jstor  intellectual_history  historiography  historiography-18thC  German_scholars  historicism  relativism  causation  causation-social  Herder  determinism  downloaded 
october 2015 by dunnettreader
Jared P. Friedman and Anthony I. Jack - Mapping cognitive structure onto philosophical debate re problems of consciousness, free will and ethics | Minds Online - Sept 2015 - Session 1 - Social Cognition
Mapping cognitive structure onto the landscape of philosophical debate: An empirical framework with relevance to problems of consciousness, free will and ethics -- Department of Philosophy and Inamori International Center for Ethics and Excellence, Case Western Reserve University -- There are some seemingly intractable questions that have remained at the heart of philosophical discourse since they were first asked. Is the mind distinct from the brain or are we just physical stuff? Are we autonomous agents or merely at the mercy of the causal and mechanistic laws of nature? When, if ever, is it acceptable to sacrifice one for the greater good of many? That these questions have remained at the heart of philosophy for so long, and that their ‘solutions’ (e.g., monism vs. dualism) seem to be incommensurable with each other, strikes us as enigmatic. Might the intractable nature of these and other appropriately identified problems reflect something peculiar about us rather than something peculiar about the way the world is? (...) This account maintains that the difficulties reconciling markedly different philosophical responses to these three questions arise from an unavoidable tension between two anatomically independent and functionally inhibitory neural networks, both of which are essential to human understanding. This account is motivated by the observation that both philosophers and non-philosophers experience difficulty in reconciling competing responses to these questions. -- downloaded pdf to Note
paper  conference  cognition  antimonies  consciousness  mind-body  neuroscience  determinism  free_will  naturalism  physicalism  reductionism  causation  moral_philosophy  metaethics  intuitions  brain  experimental_philosophy  analytical_philosophy  James_William  monism  dualism  downloaded 
september 2015 by dunnettreader
Ada Palmer - Reading Lucretius in the Renaissance | JSTOR: Journal of the History of Ideas, Vol. 73, No. 3 (July 2012), pp. 395-416
In the Renaissance, Epicureanism and other heterodox scientific theories were strongly associated with heresy and atheism, and frequently condemned. Yet, when Lucretius’s Epicurean poem De Rerum Natura reappeared in 1417, these associations did not prevent the poem’s broad circulation. A survey of marginalia in Lucretius manuscripts reveals a characteristic humanist reading agenda, focused on philology and moral philosophy, which facilitated the circulation of such heterodox texts among an audience still largely indifferent to their radical content. Notes in later sixteenth century print copies reveal a transformation in reading methods, and an audience more receptive to heterodox science. Article is on Project MUSE - the jstor archive is open through 2011, closed for 2012, and has no later volumes. The jstor page for articles from 2012 has the advantage of the full set of footnotes. I've copied the footnotes to Evernote. -- update, I've downloaded it to Note
article  jstor  bibliography  intellectual_history  Lucretius  Epicurean  heterodoxy  atheism  15thC  16thC  Renaissance  humanism  philology  moral_philosophy  reading  reader_response  readership  atomism  determinism  cosmology  Scientific_Revolution  cultural_change  cultural_transmission  circulation-ideas  Evernote  downloaded 
april 2015 by dunnettreader
Kevin Slack - Benjamin Franklin’s Metaphysical Essays and the Virtue of Humility | JSTOR: American Political Thought, Vol. 2, No. 1 (Spring 2013), pp. 31-61
Historians have long rejected Max Weber and D. H. Lawrence’s portrayal of Benjamin Franklin as the stuffy architect of a new kind of prudish bourgeois virtue. Recent scholarly work has challenged this notion and has added something more: the idea that Franklin is a serious thinker, even an ironic thinker, in the Western philosophic tradition. Certainly Franklin participated in a vigorous intellectual debate with the greatest minds of his time over the meaning of religion, moral duty, and virtue. In this article I return to Franklin’s own writings to provide what I think is a new and hopefully provocative interpretation of Franklin as a philosophic thinker. After briefly recounting the traditional interpretation of Franklin’s Autobiography, I present new interpretations of Franklin’s metaphysical essays in the context of his orientation to the philosophical schools of his day and argue that Franklin, upon this foundation, constructs his own theory of the philosophical temper. -- downloaded pdf to Note
article  jstor  intellectual_history  18thC  American_colonies  American_Revolution  French_Enlightenment  Enlightenment  Deism  metaphysics  determinism  moral_philosophy  political_philosophy  Franklin_Ben  virtue  civic_virtue  bibliography  downloaded  EF-add 
january 2015 by dunnettreader
Charlie Huenemann, review - Matthew J. Kisner and Andrew Youpa (eds.), Essays on Spinoza's Ethical Theory (OUP) // Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews // September 09, 2014
This volume presents a cohesive and engaging set of essays, converging on the question: was Spinoza frowning or smiling? ...as he surveyed the wide range of human moral phenomena, did he merely bemoan our superstitious beliefs and ignorant behaviors? Or did he see some of it as truly virtuous? But how can anything be virtuous, if all human actions are completely determined by an infinite substance that doesn't give a damn what happens? --...Charles Jarrett's essay forcefully presents the challenges of finding genuine morality in Spinoza's philosophy. As Jarrett reads him, Spinoza left himself no room to construct a meaningful "ideal" of human behavior. Indeed, "good" itself is misleading, as Spinoza "advocates or recommends that we take a perspective from which good and evil cannot be conceived. He thus seems... to advocate, a transcendence of ethics". -- Several essays take up Jarrett's challenge. -- Some of the essays are concerned with saving the possibility of Spinoza's morality from other doctrines he espoused. Michael LeBuffe ("Necessity and the Commands of Reason in the Ethics") -- Karolina Hübner rescues meaningful discourse about humanity as a whole in the face of Spinoza's disdain for universals. Eugene Marshall ("Man is a God to Man: How Humans can be Adequate Causes") defends the intelligibility, within Spinoza's determinism, that some actions can be autonomous and hence "free". -- Some of the essays provide broad and masterful perspective... meditations on the nature and significance of Spinoza's ethical project. -- A final trio of essays connects Spinoza's morality with the claims regarding "eternity" in Part V of the Ethics. These are especially welcome, as Spinoza's mystical claims are sometimes treated as an embarrassment or as a separate island of befuddlement. -- there is not a single clunker in the lot. The introduction is a thoughtful overview of the terrain that also provides a useful integration of the chapters that follow. If you are studying Spinoza's ethical theory, you need this book.
books  reviews  intellectual_history  17thC  Spinoza  metaphysics  moral_philosophy  determinism  free_will  causation  good  evil  infinity  virtue 
september 2014 by dunnettreader
Rex Gilliland - What Becomes of the Human after Humanism? Heidegger and Derrida | Dartmouth College
We will consider Heidegger’s concept of the human being in the “Letter on ‘Humanism’” and Derrida’s reading of it in “The Ends of Man.” The “Letter on ‘Humanism’” is the first publication in which Heidegger extensively discusses the central themes of his later thought and is also the text that framed Heidegger’s reception in postwar France. In it, Heidegger critically examines the metaphysical foundation of humanism and develops a conception of the human being that attempts to think human decision in terms of its fundamental orientation toward being. Against humanists such as Sartre, Heidegger argues that being, not the human being, is of primary importance. At the same time, he maintains that the human being cannot be reduced to an epiphenomenon of being because being needs the human being to preserve its truth. We will consider Derrida’s response and his own views about the human being. In “The Ends of Man,” a nuanced reading of this text and the debate about humanism it helped to inspire, Derrida highlights the inadequacies of the interpretations of Heidegger found on both sides of the debate. However, Derrida also argues that there is a certain justification for these readings: Due to the fact that he privileges the human being and defines its essence via the proximity and presence of being, Heidegger fails to escape metaphysics. Does Derrida provide an alternate conception that avoids these difficulties? We will explore these questions by examining Derrida’s notions of undecidability and the relationship to an impossible presence: Is the extreme minimalism of Derrida’s position needed to disrupt the metaphysics of presence, or does it lead to a conception of the human being that is unnecessarily meager?
paper  20thC  intellectual_history  Germany  France  continental_philosophy  Heidegger  Derrida  humanism  anti-humanism  post-WWII  human_nature  metaphysics  Being  determinism  free_will  responsibility  Sartre  EF-add 
august 2014 by dunnettreader
Oren Harman review - Sean B. Carroll, Brave Genius : A Scientist, a Philosopher, and Their Daring Adventures from the French Resistance to the Nobel Prize - "Chance and Necessity" Revisited | The Los Angeles Review of Books - July 2014
IN THE FALL of 1970, Éditions du Seuil published Le hasard et la nécessité, a monograph by the French molecular biologist Jacques Monod,. Chance and Necessity was a slim book laden with technical details of oligomeric proteins, teleonomic structures, and microscopic perturbations. Despite the technical jargon, the book sold over 200,000 copies in its first year and became a best seller in Germany and Japan. It was bested in France only by Erich Segal’s Love Story. What explains its popularity? Monod was an eminent scientist, to be sure: he’d received the 1965 Nobel Prize with André Lwoff and François Jacob for “discoveries concerning genetic control of enzyme and virus synthesis.” But the resonance of Chance and Necessity is best explained by two epigraphs that adorned its opening page, stoic reminders that this was an affair well beyond the confines of mere science. The first is a dramatic statement by the Greek philosopher Democritus: “Everything existing in the Universe is the fruit of chance and necessity.” The second epigram, more than anything, best explains the book’s salience: a lengthy quotation from Albert Camus’s essay The Myth of Sisyphus. “The struggle itself towards the heights is enough to fill a man’s heart”; it ends, “One must imagine Sisyphus happy.” Sean B. Carroll, the American developmental molecular geneticist, reveals the deep friendship between Camus and Monod in Brave Genius. Their relationship, Carroll finds, not only illuminates the work of both men, but also unlocks the political and philosophical contingencies of a key moment in 20th-century thought.
books  reviews  intellectual_history  political_history  history_of_science  existentialism  20thC  France  WWII  French_Resistance  biography  Camus  evolutionary_biology  genetics  biology  cosmology  nihilism  chance  determinism  necessity 
august 2014 by dunnettreader
Friedrich August von Hayek - Prize Lecture: The Pretence of Knowledge -- Nobel Prize 1974
MLA style: "Friedrich August von Hayek - Prize Lecture: The Pretence of Knowledge". Nobelprize.org. Nobel Media AB 2014. Web. 9 Aug 2014. <http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/economic-sciences/laureates/1974/hayek-lecture.html> -- uses stagflation to attack demand side theories with a hint of liquidationism -- more interesting is his take on Popper and limits to positivism and quantitative methodologies -- can theirize certain patterns and examine empirical evidence re those patterns, but can't predict quantitative outcomes -- though stresses complexity, seems to be an issue of incomplete data (by definition inaccessible since it's in the heads of masses of heterogeneous agents reacting to their own, constantly changing, limited information) rather than emergent properties and complexity dynamics
intellectual_history  20thC  post-WWII  social_sciences-post-WWII  economic_theory  markets  information-markets  Labor_markets  unemployment  inflation  economic_policy  demand  empiricism  uncertainty  epistemology  positivism  quantitative_methods  philosophy_of_science  philosophy_of_social_science  Popper  Hayek  determinism  emergence  equilibrium  complexity  EF-add  scientism  scientific_method  sociology_of_knowledge 
august 2014 by dunnettreader
Hayek on Prediction in the Social Sciences | Social Democracy for the 21st Century: A Post Keynesian Perspective: August 2014
Lord Keynes looking at Hayek's 1974 Nobel lecture -- If Hayek is saying here that the natural sciences could exactly predict everything about the game given enough information (including presumably the brain states of human players), then he is committed to the view that the world is completely deterministic, and that our uncertainty about it is merely epistemic and caused by the insuperable difficulties of gathering enough information for calculations. In contrast to this, Post Keynesians emphasise the ontological nature of uncertainty, and this commits them to a philosophical position quite different from that of Hayek. The notion of “spontaneous ordering forces” that bring order to markets (like Smith’s “invisible hand” metaphor) seems overrated too. “Spontaneous ordering forces” must be understood as emergent properties. That complex social and economic systems can display emergent properties that result in greater stability is not in doubt, but other emergent properties (e.g., the outcome of the paradox of thrift or distress selling in a market crash) can also be highly deleterious and destabilising. Hayek badly neglected such destabilising forces in his rhetoric about markets. -- see bookmark for html of lecture on Nobel Prize site
20thC  intellectual_history  economic_theory  macroeconomics  microeconomics  markets  information-markets  equilibrium  emergence  laisser-faire  Hayek  uncertainty  probability  determinism  Post-Keynesian  philosophy_of_science  philosophy_of_social_science  scientism  scientific_method  scientific_culture  EF-add 
august 2014 by dunnettreader
Charles Taliaferro - Unknowable Truths and Omniscience: A Reply to Kvanvig | JSTOR: Journal of the American Academy of Religion, Vol. 61, No. 3 (Autumn, 1993), pp. 553-566
The various attribute debates in analytical_philosophy tend to be piecemeal. They also often smuggle in positions on heavily debated issues such as free_will. Helpful pulling apart various threads of theism debates on attributes, determinism and theodicy -- didn't download
article  jstor  theology  Christianity  God-attributes  free_will  theodicy  cosmology  determinism  EF-add 
august 2014 by dunnettreader
Walter Ott - LOCKE'S EXCLUSION ARGUMENT | JSTOR: History of Philosophy Quarterly, Vol. 27, No. 2 (APRIL 2010), pp. 181-196
A different take on Locke's superaddition argument re thinking matter that would align him with materialism that treats mental events as mere epiphenomenal, neither identity with physical, nor supervenience -- downloaded pdf to Note
article  jstor  intellectual_history  17thC  20thC  21stC  mind  mind-body  consciousness  soul  materialism  determinism  Locke  thinking_matter  downloaded  EF-add 
august 2014 by dunnettreader
Greg Hill - "FROM HAYEK TO KEYNES: G.L.S. Shackle and Our Ignorance of the Future" - Critical Review (2004) | bepress
Greg Hill, City of Seattle -- G.L.S. Shackle stood at the historic crossroads where the economics of Hayek and Keynes collided. Shackle fused these opposing lines of thought in a macroeconomic theory that draws Keynesian conclusions from Austrian premises. In Shackle’s scheme of thought, the power to imagine alternative courses of action releases decision makers from the web of predictable causation. But the continuous stream of spontaneous and unpredictable choices that originate in the subjective and disparate orientations of individual agents denies us the possibility of rational expectations, and therewith the logical coherence of market equilibrium through time. -- Suggested Citation - Greg Hill. "FROM HAYEK TO KEYNES: G.L.S. Shackle and Our Ignorance of the Future" Critical Review (2004). Available at: http://works.bepress.com/greg_hill/5 -- downloaded pdf to Note
intellectual_history  economic_theory  macroeconomics  equilibrium  rational_expectations  decision_theory  Keynesian  Hayek  Austrian_economics  probability  uncertainty  causation-social  determinism  downloaded  EF-add 
july 2014 by dunnettreader
Michael Heyd - From a Rationalist Theology to Cartesian Voluntarism: David Derodon and Jean-Robert Chouet | JSTOR: Journal of the History of Ideas, Vol. 40, No. 4 (Oct. - Dec., 1979), pp. 527-542
Shift from proto Leibniz determinism to extreme Voluntarism - 1660 and later in Geneva - Chouet introduced Cartesian mechanism to French Reformed - a perspective on the relationship between theology and 17thC mechanical philosophy -- didn't download
article  jstor  intellectual_history  history_of_science  religious_history  science-and-religion  17thC  Geneva  Calvinist  rational_religion  God-attributes  determinism  voluntarism  laws_of_nature  Descartes  Cartesian  mechanism  natural_philosophy  EF-add 
may 2014 by dunnettreader
Robert C. Bishop, review - Peter Ulric Tse, Neural Basis of Free Will: Criterial Causation // Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews // Jan 2014
Critical re reductionism or eliminativism underneath the Tse "persons choosing" lingo - one where equivocation on key notions such as willing, choosing, planning, valuing, information, assessment, and so forth, mask the replacements of what persons do when they engage in decisions by mechanized response to inputs. The richness of our human experience and practices of free will and action disappear. Equivocating on key terms such as 'assessing', 'deciding' and 'willing' likely would go unnoticed if you are presupposing a strictly instrumental view of action, where all cause-effect chains are modeled on efficient causation, and the main idea is to discern the most efficient or effective means for achieving a pre-set goal. -- On the instrumental view Tse offers, human actions are the effects of efficient causal chains no different in kind from a thermostat triggering the A/C to come on when a preset threshold is met (except that somehow the thermostat has an unidentified power to change the threshold once the threshold has been met). Tse likely does not realize that his being enmeshed in an instrumental view of action leads him to personify neurons and thereby mechanize assessing, deciding and willing, among other activities, at all levels of his account. -- Moreover, Tse likely does not realize how deeply the instrumental view of action is shaped by Western cultural ideals (Bishop 2013). -- In conclusion, Tse tells us that he is going to give us a neuroscientific account of free will and consciousness, but his metaphysics of realization, the personification equivocation and the commitment to an instrumental picture of action amounts to a philosophical account with philosophical assumptions... -- interesting on Causal Closure Principle of physics
books  reviews  philosophy_of_science  mind  neuroscience  free_will  determinism  reductionism  physicalism  EF-add 
march 2014 by dunnettreader
Peter Millican - Hume, Causal Realism, and Causal Science | JSTOR: Mind, New Series, Vol. 118, No. 471 (Jul., 2009), pp. 647-712
The 'New Hume' interpretation, which sees Hume as a realist about 'thick' Causal powers, has been largely motivated by his evident commitment to causal language and causal science. In this, however, it is fundamentally misguided, failing to recognise how Hume exploits his anti-realist conclusions about (upper-case) Causation precisely to support (lower-case) causal science. When critically examined, none of the standard New Humean arguments—familiar from the work of Wright, Craig, Strawson, Buckle, Kail, and others—retains any significant force against the plain evidence of Hume's texts. But the most devastating objection comes from Hume's own applications of his analysis of causation, to the questions of 'the immateriality of the soul' and 'liberty and necessity'. These show that the New Hume interpretation has misunderstood the entire purpose of his 'Chief Argument', and presented him as advocating some of the very positions he is arguing most strongly against. -- paywall Oxford Journals 7 years until jstor
article  jstor  paywall  intellectual_history  18thC  Hume  causation  scepticism  soul  free_will  determinism  EF-add 
january 2014 by dunnettreader
Kenan Malik - A BOOK IN PROGRESS [PART 3]: ON STOICISM, FREE WILL & FATE | Pandaemonium April 2011
Nice summary of the Stoic origins of the theodicy, fate,beneficent Providence, and free will tangle - distinction between free will as responsibility and as agency in sense of changing the world - difference in approach to virtue and material condition from Aristotle's aristocratic approach - poor or slave as potentially virtuous
intellectual_history  moral_philosophy  ancient_philosophy  Stoicism  fate  Providence  determinism  free_will  slavery  elites  EF-add 
december 2013 by dunnettreader
Paul Schuurman : Determinism and Causal Feedback Loops in Montesquieu's Explanations for the MilitaryRise and Fall of Rome (2013) | T & F Online
British Journal for the History of Philosophy, Volume 21, Issue 3, 2013, pages 507- 528, Available online: 23 May 2013, DOI: 10.1080/09608788.2013.771612 -- Montesquieu's Considérations sur les causes de la grandeur des Romains et de leur décadence (1733/1734) is a methodological exercise in causal explanation on the meso-level applied to the subject of the military rise and fall of Rome. Rome is described as a system with contingent initial conditions that have a strong path-determining effect. Contingent and plastic initial configurations become highly determining in their subsequent operation, thanks to self-reinforcing feedback loops. Montesquieu's method seems influenced by the ruthless commitment to efficient causality and the reductionism of seventeenth-century mechanicist philosophy; but in contrast to these predecessors, he is more interested in dynamic processes than in unchangeable substances, and his use of efficient causality in the context of a system approach implies a form of holism that is lacking in his predecessors. The formal and conceptual analysis in this article is in many ways complementary with Paul Rahe's recent predominantly political analysis of the Considérations. At the same time, this article points to a problem in the works on the Enlightenment by Jonathan Israel: his account stresses a one-dimensional continuum consisting of Radical, Moderate and Counter-Enlightenment. This invites Israel to place the combined religious, political and philosophical views of each thinker on one of these three points. His scheme runs into trouble when a thinker with moderate religious and political views produces radical philosophical concepts. Montesquieu's Considérations is a case in point.
article  paywall  intellectual_history  18thC  Montesquieu  ancient_Rome  Roman_Republic  Roman_Empire  military_history  lessons-of-history  determinism  causation  social_theory  mechanism  path-dependency  historiography  Enlightenment  Radical_Enlightenment  Counter-Enlightenment  find  EF-add 
september 2013 by dunnettreader
Sharon R. Krause : Two Concepts of Liberty in Montesquieu (2005) |T & F Online
Perspectives on Political Science, Volume 34, Issue 2, 2005, pages 88- 96, Available online: 07 Aug 2010, DOI: 10.3200/PPSC.34.2.88-96 -- political liberty (against abuse of government) and philosophical liberty (or freedom of will) -- Krause argues that, contra the deterministic reading of Montesquieu, philosophic liberty is important to him and how to make it work with political liberty
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september 2013 by dunnettreader
Ana J. Samuel: The Design of Montesquieu's The Spirit of the Laws: The Triumph of Freedom over Determinism (2009) | Cambridge Journals Online
ANA J. SAMUEL (2009). The Design of Montesquieu's The Spirit of the Laws: The Triumph of Freedom over Determinism. American Political Science Review, 103, pp 305-321. doi:10.1017/S0003055409090273. -- One of the perennial puzzles of Montesquieu's The Spirit of the Laws is whether it has a coherent design. Although the dominant line of thinking is that this work has no unified structure, another believes it to have some organizing principle, even though proposals as to what it may be have failed to convince for lack of ability to account for various features of the work. I propose that The Spirit of the Laws is organized in a dialectical way, juxtaposing the antitheses of human freedom and determination. The tension between these is manifest in the first half of the work and resolved in the middle, and human freedom worked out and advanced in the second half. This article solves the long-standing question of the design of The Spirit of the Laws and reveals that the work's ultimate purpose is to champion human liberty over determination, contrary to the views of those who read the work as deterministic. -- Michael Zuckert is her dissertation advisor.
article  paywall  intellectual_history  18thC  political_philosophy  political_economy  liberty  determinism  Montesquieu  find  EF-add 
september 2013 by dunnettreader

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