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91. 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.
92. 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.
93. The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 12
Name Index
94. 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.
95. 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.
96. 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.
97. 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.
98. 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.
99. The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 12
David Vessey Gadamer's Theory of Time Consciousness
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Gadamer's philosophical hermeneutics belongs to the phenomenological tradition. What is striking then is that one of the central themes in phenomenology, the nature of time consciousness, receives no sustained treatment in Gadamer's writings. It's fair to say that Gadamer is the only major figure in phenomenology not to address the issue of time at length. In this paper I argue that Gadamer does have an account of time consciousness and it can be found most fully articulated in his account of the aesthetic experience connected to festivals. Festivals, as models of epochal experiences, are the primordial experiences of time upon which other forms of time consciousness (time as used and filled and scientific time) are constituted. Significantly, then, the reproduction of the meaning of tradition plays a role in the heart of Gadamer's theory of time and therefore his theory of experience.
100. The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 12
Leonid Grinin Once More on the Question of the Role of Personality in History
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In order for the philosophy of history to be a really necessary methodological science in relation to theoretical and epistemological problems of history, it is quite necessary to get away from the practice of general discourse and from attempts to find universal solutions suitable for all times. On the contrary, it is desirable to focus on a search for principles and for methods of applying them to the problems of different levels, which, by no means predetermining the results of concrete research, would play the role of (a) a convenient and capacious form of concentration of materials; (b) an effective tool of cognition; and (c) a "compass" preserving a scientists efforts in search of a true solution. For this it is necessary while building up theories, first, to try to combine distinct partially true approaches; secondly, to define clearly the boundaries of applicability of arguments; and thirdly, to formulate laws not in the form of absolute conclusions but according to the rules admitted in other sciences. The possibility of realizing these goals is illustrated by the example of the present theme, "on the role of personality in history," wherein the author introduces the notion of a "factor of a situation," which makes it possible to unify various points correlating personality roles and diverse states of society, and gives the typology of "roles," personalities, etc.