Τρίτη, 7 Μαΐου 2019

Continental Philosophy

Piper's question and ours: a role for adversity in group-centred views of non-agentive shame

Abstract

This paper aims to contribute to 'group-centred views' of non-agentive shame (victim shame, oppression shame), by linking them to an 'anepistemic' model of the experience and impact of human failing. One of the most vexing aspects of those group-centred views remains how susceptivity to such shame ought to be understood. This contribution focuses on how a basic familiarity with adversity, in everyday life, may open individuals up to these forms of shame. If, per group-centred views, non-agentive shame is importantly driven by participation in social practices with others, a better understanding of the impact of adversity on individuals' lives may offer a way of explaining how embodied experience instils in individuals a need for such participation. The upshot is an understanding of the individual's susceptivity to non-agentive shame, which affords it the same legitimacy as more conventional notions of shame.



Motor intentionality and the intentionality of improvisation: a contribution to a phenomenology of musical improvisation

Abstract

The intentionality of improvisation represents surely one of the most pressing and controversial issues in contemporary action theory: how do we find the way to characterize the proper intentionality of improvisation, which is an unplanned yet intentional action? This article will address this question bringing together Merleau-Ponty's motor intentionality and Bergson's conception of duration. My argument will unfold in three main stages. First, I will briefly describe the traditional scheme that is used to think of intentional action in contemporary action theory and discuss how the phenomenon of improvisation casts doubts on it. Second, I will outline an initial, and provisional account of improvisation by crossing the descriptions of musical improvisation provided by Jankélévitch with the testimonials of two improvisatory composers—Enrico Pieranunzi and Keith Jarrett—and reports from Charles Rosen, an American pianist and Roger Sessions, an American composer. Finally, I will refine the basic concepts and lay out a phenomenological account of improvisation, by extending and applying the phenomenological notion of motor intentionality to the examples and testimonials gathered from the observation of a specific kind of improvisatory activity—musical composition. This methodology is intended to contrast both with more standard philosophical approaches based on hypothetical examples, and with more standard laboratory-based methodologies in cognitive sciences, psychology, and experimental philosophy. Overall, this approach is intended to redress the balance of action theory—one-sided directed towards planning, as a key aspect of human agency—with an analysis of the bodily and responsive aspect of intentionality.



Sensibility and the otherness of the world: Levinas and Merleau-Ponty

Abstract

Sensibility has traditionally been defined as a relation with the world's exteriority. However, a certain post-husserlian phenomenology tends to reverse this definition and to redefine sensibility as an internal relation that takes place from within the world. This article focuses on this phenomenological concept of "sensibility" in Levinas and Merleau-Ponty and intends to show that this concept rests upon the presupposition of an alternative according to which we would have whether a sensible experience of identity, or an acosmic experience of otherness—whether a wordly experience of the same or a worldless experience of otherness. Yet, by reducing sensibility to the experience of the world's interiority and rejecting otherness beyond any worldly experience, this conception fails to account for a significant dimension of sensibility—namely, sensibility as the experience of the world's own otherness, foreignness or exteriority. It is our hope that, from the critical exposition of this alternative, will eventually appear in conclusion the significant part of this forgotten dimension of sensibility.



Kinesthesia: An extended critical overview and a beginning phenomenology of learning

Abstract

This paper takes five different perspectives on kinesthesia, beginning with its evolution across animate life and its biological distinction from, and relationship to proprioception. It proceeds to document the historical derivation of "the muscle sense," showing in the process how analytic philosophers bypass the import of kinesthesia by way of "enaction," for example, and by redefinitions of "tactical deception." The article then gives prominence to a further occlusion of kinesthesia and its subduction by proprioception, these practices being those of well-known phenomenologists, practices that exemplify an adultist perspective supported in large part by the writings of Merleau-Ponty. Following this extended critical review, the article shows how Husserl's phenomenology enlightens us about kinesthesia and in doing so offers us substantive clues to the phenomenology of learning as it takes place in the development and acquisition of skillful movement. It shows further how phenomenological methodology contrasts markedly with existential analysis, most significantly in its recognition of, and its ability to set forth a developmental history, a veritable genetic phenomenology that is basically a phenomenology of learning anchored in kinesthesia. After showing how that phenomenology of learning finds mutual validation in a classic empirical study of infant movement, the article ends by highlighting how human "I cans" are grounded in "I move," specifically, in the pan-human ability to learn one's body and learn to move oneself.



From existential alterity to ethical reciprocity: Beauvoir's alternative to Levinas

Abstract

While Simone de Beauvoir's theory of alterity has been the topic of much discussion within Beauvoir scholarship, feminist theory, and social and political philosophy, it has not commonly been a reference point for those working within ethics. However, Beauvoir develops a novel view that those concerned with the ethical import of respect for others should consider seriously, especially those working within the Levinasian tradition. I claim that Beauvoir distinguishes between two forms of otherness: namely, existential alterity and sociopolitical alterity. While sociopolitical alterity is a contingent and surmountable form of otherness that results from oppression of individuals and groups, existential alterity is a necessary feature of the human condition that discloses the foreignness of the other as a freedom. Out of this view of existential alterity, I argue, Beauvoir develops an ethic of asymmetrical reciprocity. In contrast with Levinas, who dismisses reciprocity as a symmetrical or reversible model of relation that minimizes difference, Beauvoir promulgates a view of reciprocity that does not fall into the problems that Levinas diagnoses. Moreover, asymmetrical reciprocity more successfully figures the ethical relation to the other than the absolute asymmetry one finds in Levinas, which becomes evident through revisiting Levinas's account of eros and contrasting it with that of Beauvoir.



Forgiveness as institution: a Merleau-Pontian account

Abstract

Recent literature on forgiveness suggests that a successful account of the phenomenon must satisfy at least three conditions: it must be able to explain how forgiveness can be articulate, uncompromising, and elective. These three conditions are not logically inconsistent, but the history of reflection on the ethics of forgiveness nonetheless suggests that they are in tension. Accounts that emphasize articulateness and uncompromisingness tend to suggest an excessively deflationary understanding of electiveness, underestimating the degree to which forgiveness is a gift. Accounts that emphasize electiveness, on the other hand, tend to weaken the safeguards that keep forgiveness distinct from condonation, excuse, or mere servility. I argue in this paper that we can do justice to the three conditions by understanding forgiveness in terms of the concept of institution that Maurice Merleau-Ponty developed in his work from the early- to mid-1950s.



The relevance of the theory of pseudo-culture

Abstract

Some 60 years separate us from Theodor W. Adorno's "Theory of pseudo-culture." Yet Adorno's analysis might never have been as pertinent and as compelling as it is in the present moment. The dawn of the "post-truth" era, and the persistent impact of the culture industry on human sensibility and capacity for critical self-reflection, call for a return to Adorno's critical theorisation of pseudo-culture. This paper revisits Adorno's assessment of pseudo-culture and proposes a reconstruction of some of his most compelling arguments on the subject in light of the present socio-historical circumstances. The paper starts with a concise discussion of the notions of KulturBildung and Halbbildung in relation to Adorno's thought. It then discusses the effects of pseudo-culture on human experience by looking into the role of opinions—in particular, what Adorno terms "delusional" opinions—in contemporary late capitalist reality. Finally, the paper ends with a juxtaposition of the barbarism of the banal and neoteric barbarism. I argue that, whereas the former stuns culture and impels it to regress to a state of pseudo-culture, the latter gives it new impetus by opening up new theoretical and practical paths.



Attitudes and illusions: Herbert Leyendecker's phenomenology of perception

Abstract

In this paper, I discuss aspects of Herbert Leyendecker's 1913 doctoral dissertation, Towards the Phenomenology of Deceptions (Zur Phänomenologie der Täuschungen), which he defended in 1913 at the University of Munich. Leyendecker was a member of the Munich and Göttingen Phenomenological Circles. In my discussion of his largely neglected views, I explore the connection between his ideas concerning "attitudes" (Einstellungen), e.g., of searching for, observing, counting, or working with objects, and the central topic of his text, perceptual illusions, thematized by Leyendecker as a kind of perceptual "deception" (Täuschung). Indeed, Leyendecker argues that a change of attitude is a necessary aspect of an illusion. I argue that Leyendecker's use of the notion of attitude in accounting for illusions is problematic; yet I also suggest that his ideas are not devoid of philosophical interest, in relation to current debates.



Personal identity and the otherness of one's own body

Abstract

Locke claims that a person's identity over time consists in the unity of consciousness, not in the sameness of the body. Similarly, the phenomenological approach refuses to see the criteria of identity as residing in some externally observable bodily features. Nevertheless, it does not accept the idea that personal identity has to consist either in consciousness or in the body. We are self-aware as bodily beings. After providing a brief reassessment of Locke and the post-Lockean discussion, the article draws on phenomenological arguments that show the body as lived, that is, lived as one's own body, but also possibly as "other" or "strange." Against what has been claimed in recent writing, especially in literature on Merleau-Ponty, the author argues that the "mineness" of the body and its "alterity" are not two mutually exclusive features. In the final part of the article, the author suggests that the becoming strange of one's own body may legitimately be considered as a prominent experience of what it means to be a person.



Geoffrey Dierckxsens: Paul Ricoeur's moral anthropology—singularity, responsibility, and justice


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