This book offers a bold and controversial new thesis regarding the nature of prejudice. The authors' central claim is that prejudice is not simply learned, rather it is predisposed in all human beings and is thus the foundation for ethical valuation. They aim to destroy the illusion that prejudice is merely the result of learned beliefs, socially conditioned attitudes, or pathological states of development. Contrary to traditional accounts, prejudice itself is not a negative attribute of human nature, rather it is the necessary precondition for the self and civilization to emerge. Defined as the preferential self-expression of valuation, prejudice gives rise to greater existential complexities and novelties that elevate selfhood and society to higher states of ethical realization. Rather than offer another contribution that highlights the destructive nature of prejudice, Mills and Polanowski address the ontological, psychological, and dialectical origins of prejudice as it manifests itself in the process of selfhood and culture. They provide an original conceptualization of the phenomenology of prejudice and its dialectical instantiation in the ontology of the individual, worldhood, and the very structures of subjectivity. As a unique synthesis of psychoanalysis, Hegelian idealism, Heideggerian existential ontology, and Whiteheadian process philosophy, prejudice is the indispensable ground for humanity to actualize its highest potentiality-for-Being. The striking result is (1) a revolutionary theory of human nature, (2) a new ethical system, and (3) the elevation of dialectical ethics to the domain of metaphysics.
The book covers almost the whole range of semiotics: the conceptions of meaning, the appearance of meaning units in semiosis, the dichotomy analyticity/syntheticity, the formal condition of good translation, the metaphorical change in fine arts, the figurativeness in modern literary theories, the metaphor in computer translation, the conditionals with egocentric predicates, the evolution of the notion of cause, the temporal relation in conditionals, the structure of passive voice, the semantics of to think, the reasoning and rationality, the non-formalized reasoning, the operation of acceptance, the principle of non-contradiction, the relation semiotics/logic/philosophy, the interdisciplinarity and exactness, the notion of imprecision, the interpretation of some semiotic notions (i.a. semantic field of terms) in terms of mathematics, the description of categorial grammars in terms of model theory, the human knowledge as moral problem, the conceptualization of the development of knowledge by means of the notion of meme, the cultural relations between some European countries, the typology of scientists, the semiotic studies of some Spanish, Irish, Czech, Polish and Norwegian works of literature, the semiotic aspects of music, television and the whole sphere of artifacts, the history of semiotics (Plato, Gonsung Long, Descartes, Fu Yen, Peirce, Brwal, Lotman, Langer).
This book challenges received notions of ontology in political theory and international relations by offering a psychoanalytically informed critique of depoliticisation in prominent liberal, post-liberal, dialogic and agonistic approaches to pluralism in world politics. Paipais locates the temptation of depoliticisation in their labouring under the fundamental fantasy of various guises of foundationalism (in the form of either political anthropology or ontology as ‘in the last instance’ ground) or, conversely, anti-foundationalism (the denial of all grounds, yet still operating within a foundationalist imaginary). He argues, instead, for a formal political ontology of the void (against historicism) shot through an ‘incarnate’ messianic nihilism (against ethicism and teleological forms of politics). In so doing, the author offers critical readings of the messianic nihilism of Benjamin, Agamben, Taubes and Žižek by problematising the antinomian tendencies in their respective political theologies. The book argues for a version of Žižek’s Badiouian politics of militancy supplemented by a proper participatory understanding of St Paul’s messianic meontology and incarnational Christology as a means to reconceptualise the nexus between subjectivity, universality and political action in world politics. It will be of interest to students and scholars of International Relations theory, political theory, critical social theory and political theology.
It is no exaggeration to say that of the early 20th century German philosophers who claimed to establish a new ontology, former neo-Kantian turned realist Nicolai Hartmann is the only one to have actually followed through. "Ontology: Laying the Foundations" deals with "what is insofar as it is," and its four parts tackle traditional ontological assumptions and prejudices and traditional categories such as substance, thing, individual, whole, object, and phenomenon; a novel redefinition of existence and essence in terms of the ontological factors Dasein and Sosein and their interrelations; an analysis of modes of "givenness" and the ontological embeddedness of cognition in affective transcendent acts; and a discussion of the status of ideal being, including mathematical being, phenomenological essences, logical laws, values, and the interconnections between the ideal and real spheres. Hartmann’s work offers rich resources for those interested in overcoming the human-centeredness of much 20th century philosophy. Hartmann’s work offers rich resources for those interested in overcoming the human-centeredness of much 20th century philosophy.
The topic of vagueness re-emerged in the twentieth century from relative obscurity. It deals with the phenomenon in natural language that manifests itself in apparent semantic indeterminacy - the indeterminacy, for example, that arises when asked to draw the line between the tall and non-tall, or the drunk and the sober. An associated paradox emphasises the challenging nature of the phenomenon, presenting one of the most resilient paradoxes of logic. The apparent threat posed for orthodox theories of the semantics and logic of natural language has become the focus of intense philosophical scrutiny amongst philosophers and non-philosophers alike. Vagueness, Logic and Ontology explores various responses to the philosophical problems generated by vagueness and its associated paradox - the sorites paradox. Hyde argues that the theoretical space in which vagueness is sometimes ontologically grounded and modelled by a truth-functional logic affords a coherent response to the problems posed by vagueness. Showing how the concept of vagueness can be applied to the world, Hyde's ontological account proposes a substantial revision of orthodox semantics, metaphysics and logic. This book will be of particular interest to readers in philosophy, linguistics, cognitive science and geographic information systems.
Economists increasingly recognise that engagement with social ontology – the study of the basic subject matter and constitution of social reality - can facilitate more relevant analysis. This growing recognition amongst economists of the importance of social ontology is due very considerably to the work of members of the Cambridge Social Ontology Group. This volume brings together important papers by members of this group, some previously unpublished, in a collection that reveals the breadth and vitality of this Cambridge project. It provides a brilliant introduction to the central themes explored, perspectives sustained, insights achieved and how the project is moving forward. An initial set of papers examine how ontology is understood and justified within this Cambridge project and consider how it compares with prominent historical and contemporary alternatives. The majority of the included papers involve social ontological analysis being put to work directly in underlabouring for specific types of development in economics. The papers are grouped according to their contribution to clarifying and developing (i) various competing traditions and projects of modern economics, (ii) history of thought contributions, (iii) methodological concerns, (iv) ethics and (v) conceptions of particular aspects of social reality, including money, gender, technology and institutions. Background to and a brief history of the Cambridge group is provided in the Introduction. Social Ontology and Modern Economics will be of interest not only to economists but also philosophers of social science, social theorists and those eager to explore the nature of gender, social institutions and technology.
The philosophical study of what exists and what it means for something to exist is one of the core concerns of metaphysics. This introduction to ontology provides readers with a comprehensive account of the central ideas of the subject of being. This book is divided into two parts. The first part explores questions of pure philosophical ontology: what is meant by the concept of being, why there exists something rather than nothing, and why there is only one logically contingent actual world. Dale Jacquette shows how logic provides the only possible answers to these fundamental problems. The second part of the book examines issues of applied scientific ontology. Jacquette offers a critical survey of some of the most influential traditional ontologies, such as the distinction between appearance and reality, and the categories of substance and transcendence. The ontology of physical entities - space, time, matter and causation - is examined as well as the ontology of abstract entities such as sets, numbers, properties, relations and propositions. The special problems posed by the subjectivity of mind and of postulating a god are also explored in detail. The final chapter examines the ontology of culture, language and art.
Paul Feyerabend ranks among the most exciting and influential philosophers of science of the twentieth century. This book reconstructs Feyerabend’s pluralistic conceptions of knowledge and philosophy as they developed from the late 1940s through to his infamous Against Method. It combines a historical narrative of the main influences on his developing ideas with a systematic investigation of their merits. It presents Feyerabend as a philosopher who promoted pluralism in the pursuit of progress.
In this book, Russell Winslow examines contemporary discourses in microbiology and evolutionary inheritance theory to center the metaphysical prejudices that unreflectively subtend these discourses, highlight and illuminate an emergent prejudice of an ecological ontology in microbiology, and determine what interpretive possibilities it affords.
Ontology was once understood to be the philosophical inquiry into the structure of reality: the analysis and categorization of ‘what there is’. Recently, however, a field called ‘ontology’ has become part of the rapidly growing research industry in information technology. The two fields have more in common than just their name. Theory and Applications of Ontology is a two-volume anthology that aims to further an informed discussion about the relationship between ontology in philosophy and ontology in information technology. It fills an important lacuna in cutting-edge research on ontology in both fields, supplying stage-setting overview articles on history and method, presenting directions of current research in either field, and highlighting areas of productive interdisciplinary contact. Theory and Applications of Ontology: Philosophical Perspectives presents ontology in philosophy in ways that computer scientists are not likely to find elsewhere. The volume offers an overview of current research traditions in ontology, contrasting analytical, phenomenological, and hermeneutic approaches. It introduces the reader to current philosophical research on those categories of everyday and scientific reasoning that are most relevant to present and future research in information technology.
Ontology was once understood to be the philosophical inquiry into the structure of reality: the analysis and categorization of ‘what there is’. Recently, however, a field called ‘ontology’ has become part of the rapidly growing research industry in information technology. The two fields have more in common than just their name. Theory and Applications of Ontology is a two-volume anthology that aims to further an informed discussion about the relationship between ontology in philosophy and ontology in information technology. It fills an important lacuna in cutting-edge research on ontology in both fields, supplying stage-setting overview articles on history and method, presenting directions of current research in either field, and highlighting areas of productive interdisciplinary contact. Theory and Applications of Ontology: Computer Applications presents ontology in ways that philosophers are not likely to find elsewhere. The volume offers an overview of current research in ontology, distinguishing basic conceptual issues, domain applications, general frameworks, and mathematical formalisms. It introduces the reader to current research on frameworks and applications in information technology in ways that are sure to invite reflection and constructive responses from ontologists in philosophy.