• Back to the Great Outdoors: Speculative Realism as Philosophy of Science

      Completed during a Fellowship at the Institute of Advanced Study, Durham University, UK; Arun JJ Saldanha; University of Minnesota (Cosmos Publishing Cooperative, 2009-11-25)
      This is an essay on Quentin Meillassoux’ recent book After Finitude: An Essay on the Necessity of Contingency, placing it within recent discussions of the relationship between science, philosophy and the humanities. The book presents a strong critique of the linguistic turn in continental and analytic philosophy and argues for a retrieval of a realist notion of the power of reason. There are nonetheless a few remaining ontological problems identified towards the end of this review essay.
    • Backs to The Wall: A Reading of Alain Badiou's Metapolitics

      Mairead E Phillips; University of Melbourne, Philosophy (Cosmos Publishing Cooperative, 2006-10-27)
      Review of Alain Badiou, Metapolitics, trans. Jason Barker, London, Verso, 2005. ISBN: 184467035X.
    • Badiou and the Consequences of Formalism

      Paul M Livingston; University of New Mexico (Cosmos Publishing Cooperative, 2012-05-03)
      I consider the relationship of Badiou’s schematism of the event to critical thought following the linguistic turn as well as to the mathematical formalisms of set theory.  In Being and Event, Badiou uses formal argumentation to support his sweeping rejection of the linguistic turn as well as much of contemporary critical thought.  This rejection stems from his interpretation of set theory as barring thought from the 'One-All' of totality; but I argue that, by interpreting it differently, we can understand this implication in a way that is in fact consistent with the critical and linguistic methods Badiou wishes to reject.    
    • Badiou; Democracy: Citizenship; Democracy Into and Onto the Web

      Francesco Tampoia; Independent Scholar (Cosmos Publishing Cooperative, 2015-08-23)
      Taking the most discussed question of ‘democracy' from the Greek myths and Prometheus'gifts up to nowadays, the paper pursues two main tasks: first, gets together some suggestions shed through the agile volume ‘Democracy in What State, second, pausing at the known Plato's Allegory of the Cave goes on to the Alain Badiou's Plato' Republic hyper -translation. All the way up to the end, as an appendix, explores such connections/ disconnections within the disputed issue of Democracy into the net and onto the net, and finally come down to Derridean ‘democracy to come'. Although the paper pursues these seemingly disparate tasks, it must be regarded as a unified whole that  above all brings in focus the theme of democracy yesterday, and today, and tomorrow.
    • Bakhtinian Thought and the defence of Narrative: Overcoming Universalism and Relativism.

      Hana Owen; Swinburne University (Cosmos Publishing Cooperative, 2011-12-30)
      In light of recalcitrant global problems such as the prevalence of various levels and forms of inequality and increased environmental destruction, there is a growing recognition of the limitations, epistemological, political, social, cultural, ethical and ecological, of the modes of thought that have dominantly governed and continue to govern our worldview. The modernist project, despite various attempts to give voice to those previously denied, has come under criticism for tendencies to totalise experience and overlook or exclude differences. On the other hand, the postmodernist glorification of difference and tendency to isolate and fragment has generated a kind of debilitating uncertainty in the form of absolute relativism rendering any pursuit of meaning meaningless. Alongside the recognition of these limitations are attempts to overcome the negative effects of these modes of understanding and to create new ways of understanding ourselves, our relationship to others, human and non-human and to the larger world process in which we find ourselves. Despite the supposed opposition between the modern and postmodern projects, the two share in common the tendency to undermine another mode of understanding that by its very nature both precludes and succeeds them. The mode of understanding referred to is narrative understanding which has the potential to pave a middle way between modernity’s totalising exclusions and postmodernity’s fragmenting nihilism, furthermore when the narrative approach is seriously undertaken it becomes clear that the formerly polarised dominant modes of thought are part of a wider, more heterogeneous process. The following article examines and highlights in detail some of the problems surrounding the modern and postmodern modes of thought in order to demonstrate the usefulness of narrative theory in overcoming these problems. In order to augment the defence of narrative theory this article also draws considerably from the work of Mikhail Bakhtin whose philosophy, it will be argued, both compliments and enhances narrative understanding and has considerable potential for generating a more inclusive and creative understanding of humanity, its relationships to others and to the world in which it is inextricably linked.
    • Becoming L’homme Imaginaire: The Role of The Imagination in Overcoming Cir-cularity in Sartre’s Critique Of Dialectical Reason

      Austin Smidt (Cosmos Publishing Cooperative, 2011-10-13)
      This article attempts to wed together two supposedly disparate works of Jean-Paul Sartre, The Psychology of the Imagination (1940) and Critique of Dialectical Reason (1960) in order to construct a theory of the imagination that will aid progressive political theory in its pursuit of perpetual ‘mediated reciprocity.’ Often assumed incapable of providing a viable theory of positive intersubjective relations, this article asserts that Sartre’s work does in fact have the resources for such an endeavor. Through the continual creation of ‘images,’ the group-in-fusion is shown to be able to sustain a perpetual project of negating original negation throughout the milieu of scarcity. Although ‘images’ themselves are incapable of creating novelty, they do have use insofar as they are able to reproduce affective impressions that can motivate group praxis, which in turn creates new situations of exigence from which apocalyptic moments might arise. Therefore, by tethering the balance between the real and the imaginary, a novel social theory emerges that is both faithful to the work of Sartre and that also pushes it into new, fruitful directions.
    • Before the Deluge. Review of Steve Garner, "Racism in the Irish Experience".

      Sean O Nuallain; stanford (Cosmos Publishing Cooperative, 2017-11-11)
      Review of: Racism in the Irish Experience by Steve Garner. London, EU: Pluto, 2004.
    • Being and Evil: Revisiting 'Privatio Boni'

      Glauco Frizzera; Weill Cornell Medical College (Cosmos Publishing Cooperative, 2020-05-06)
      After outlining the previously proposed notion of the ‘non-personal Universe of Being', this paper delineates a hypothetical scenario of the unimpeded development of Being in the world and the deviations from it - natural and moral Evil.  It argues first that they are inevitable, due to the multiplicity of systems operating in the cosmos and the complexity of the workings of the ‘moral brain'.  Secondly it argues that those deviations lead to ill effects (evils) which - in analogy to their traditional interpretation as privatio boni - are seen here as a privatio entis within humans and natural ‘substances' (i.e., a failure to reach their full Being), and not separate substances themselves; their mode of being fits best in the category of ‘states/events' (Chisholm).  On a practical level, the idea of its inevitability motivates a stoic acceptance of evil as a universal condition of life (although resistance to it is needed in particular situations in which it is preventable); in turn, the notion of privatio entis carries several psychological benefits, among which the conviction that, since the growth of Being/Good is endless, it will prevail in the future, consistent with the scientific idea of ‘synchronization', nature's ‘yearning for order' (Strogatz).
    • Being and Implication: On Hegel and the Greeks

      Andrew Haas; SUNY (Cosmos Publishing Cooperative, 2007-12-28)
      This work shows that being must originally be understood as implication. We begin with what Heidegger calls Hegelrsquo;s lsquo;new concept of beingrsquo; in the emPhenomenology of Spirit/em: time as history is the essence of being. This concept however, is not univocalmdash;for supersession means destroying-preserving. Hegel shows himself to be the thinker of truth as essentially ambiguous; and the emPhenomenology/em is onto-heno-chrono-phenomenology, the history of the being and unity, time and aspect, of the conceptrsquo;s ambiguity. For Heidegger however, conceptual ambiguity confirms that Hegelrsquo;s history of being is stuck in a vulgar interpretation of time; and the emPhenomenology/em can explain neither the origin of this time, nor the necessity of negation for the historical determination of beingmdash;for Hegel cannot think the ground of the concept of being, that is, the grounding of the ground. If Heidegger argues however, that the emPhenomenology/em is pre-determined by its ancient point of departure, we must go back to the Greeks, back to Aristotlersquo;s original insight (overlooked by the entire history of philosophy as metaphysics): being and unity emimply/em one anothermdash;for they are essentially implications. Thus the question of the meaning of being becomes the question of the meaning of implication.
    • Between 'Biosphere' and 'Gaia'. Earth as a Living Organism in Soviet Geo-Ecology

      Giulia Rispoli; The University of Rome La Sapienza (Cosmos Publishing Cooperative, 2014-12-15)
      This paper focuses on some aspects of Russian naturalism that were crucial to the development of a systemic and cybernetic approach to earth sciences in the Soviet Union. The author seeks to connect Soviet perspectives to the wider context of global ecology by examining three main topics: the intersection between environmentalism and research addressing holistic ecology; the attempt at a unification of biology and geology, encouraged by V. I. Vernadskij's "pre-Gaian" concept of Biosphere as a living organism; and, the emergence of Cybernetics which accompanied the rise of a systems ecology with its implicit global understanding of environmental problems. By discussing genuine differences in styles of thinking among Russian scientists compared to Western scientists, the article is an attempt to argue that Russian science is better situated to develop an appreciation of holistic phenomena and is more conducive to interdisciplinary work than Western science, and consequently has been the source of some of the most original ideas in ecology.
    • Beyond Conception: Ontic Reality, Pure Consciousness and Matter

      Leanne Whitney (Cosmos Publishing Cooperative, 2015-11-29)
      Our current scientific exploration of reality oftentimes appears focused on epistemic states and empiric results at the expense of ontological concerns. Any scientific approach without explicit ontological arguments cannot be deemed rational however, as our very Being can never be excluded from the equation. Furthermore, if, as many nondual philosophies contend, subject/object learning is to no avail in the attainment of knowledge of ontic reality, empiric science will forever bear out that limitation. Putting Jung's depth psychology in dialogue with Patañjali's yoga philosophy is one way to attempt an alliance between dualistic and nondualistic models. Jung's assertion of an unconscious is what notably sets him apart from Patañjali. Furthermore, whereas Patañjali distinguishes between pure consciousness and the contents of consciousness, Jung does not. Although both Jung and Patañjali attempt to ground their work in the direct experience of life, and guide us towards wholeness, looking at Jung through the lens of nonduality, wholeness appears beyond reach. It is through Jung's synchronicity hypothesis where we may be able to forge a bridge between the models. This bridge allows a contemporary argument for an understanding of the ontic reality of pure consciousness, and subsequently the discrimination between things as they are and things as they appear.
    • Beyond Nihilism: Notes Towards a Critique of Left-Heideggerianism in Italian Philosophy of the 1970s

      Matteo Mandarini; Queen Mary College University of London (Cosmos Publishing Cooperative, 2009-07-23)
      This article provides a much-needed introduction to the philosophical debates around nihilism and negative thought which preoccupied many Italian left intellectuals in the seventies, and which still have important repercussions today. In order to present the principal stakes of the ‘Left Heideggerian’ current, the article undertakes a close reading of Massimo Cacciari’s 1976 book Krisis, and of Antonio Negri’s critical response to it—first in a review of the book, and then in a number of texts from the seventies and eighties, closely analysed by Mandarini, in which Negri develops a positive political metaphysics. This contrast between Cacciari and Negri allows Mandarini to investigate the significance of seemingly recondite philosophical issues to the development of Italian radical political thought, and to identify some of the key stakes of this debate: the status of politics and the political, the role of ontology, the place of dialectics and, crucially, the opposition between Cacciari’s formalistic understanding of negativity and Negri’s link between negativity and antagonism.
    • Beyond Objects, Beyond Subjects: Giorgio Agamben on Animality, Particularity and the End of Onto-theology

      K.U. Leuven Research Fund and the the Research Group 'Theology in a Postmodern Context', K.U. Leuven; Colby Dickinson; Catholic University of Leuven (Cosmos Publishing Cooperative, 2011-10-13)
      The work of Giorgio Agamben could perhaps best be described as an original extension of the onto-theological critique that has dominated much of the last century’s philosophical endeavors.  For him, this fundamental critical perspective extends itself toward the deconstruction of traditional significations, including the boundaries said to exist between the human and the animal as well as between the human and the divine.  By repeatedly unveiling these arbitrary divisions as being a result of the state of ‘original sin’ in which we dwell, Agamben aims to advance philosophical discourse ‘beyond representation’ and toward a ‘pure’ encounter with the myriad of faces always ever present before us.  In this sense, he works toward redefining ‘revelation’ as being little more than an exposure of our animality, something which indeed lies now unveiled at the real root of our being.  This animality is in fact locateable beyond the separation of being into form and content, a division which is rather indebted to the onto-theological representations that have governed the discourse of being.  By focusing instead on the manner in which paradigms could be said to operate over and against the (sovereign) rule of representations, he articulates a movement from particularity to particularity that resists the temptation to universalize our language on being.  In this sense, then, the analogical logic of the paradigm, expressed always through the absolutely singular, exposes the beings which we all are before another, rather than violently condense any given (‘whatever’) being into a formal representation.  By thus determining the contours of the paradigmatic expression, this essay intends to unite several ‘loose’ strands of Agamben’s thought in order to demonstrate the consequence of this line of inquiry: that the end of representation, often criticized as a form of political nihilism, is the only way in which to develop a justifiable ethics, one beyond the traditional binary divisions of subject and object, or of universal and particular.  In the end, as Agamben illustrates repeatedly, there is only the ‘thingness’ that each thing is, and which must be safeguarded in its precarity, thus paving the way (through a messianic  intervention) for an ethical discourse to appear.  It is a final gesture toward the messianic, then, toward a religiously-inflected terminology which hovers over his entire oeuvre, that will ultimately guide Agamben’s ‘political’ project back toward its canonical moment most clearly identifiable within the Christian heritage.  As his reading of Benjamin’s relationship to Saint Paul indicates, there is much to be discerned for him in the transition from Judaic law (with its representational logic) to Christian ‘forms of life’ (with its paradigmatic focus).  Rather than be content with a simple re-affirmation of Christian claims, however, Agamben deftly maneuvers his own position toward one of exposing the logic of Christianity as that which reveals a deep investment in a pantheistic worldview, one which theology can no longer afford to ignore. 
    • Beyond the Stalemate: Conscious MInd -Body - Quantum Mechanics - Free Will - Possible Panpsychism - Possible Interpretation of Quantum Enigma

      Stuart Kauffman; Complex Systems Center University of Vermont (Cosmos Publishing Cooperative, 2014-06-08)
      I wish to discuss a large, interwoven set of topics pointed at in the title above. Much of what I say is highly speculative, some is testable, some is, at present, surely not. It is, I hope, useful, to set these ideas forth for our consideration. What I shall say assumes quantum measurement is real, and that Bohm's interpretation of Quantum Mechanics is not true. The Stalemate: In our contemporary neurobiology and much of the philosophy of mind post Descartes we are classical physics machines and either mindless, or mind is at best epiphenomenal and can have no consequences for the physical world. The first main point of this paper is that we are not forced to this conclusion, but must give up total reliance on classical physics.
    • Bionoetics: Life and Mind; Religion/Spirituality and Science

      Sean O Nuallain; stanford (Cosmos Publishing Cooperative, 2016-10-14)
      Science deals with "knowing that", third person knowledge which can be presented to the individual consciousness and verified.. It is argued here that science becomes more veridical once it reflects ontology -  differences in levels of being-  in its methodology. Skills learning deals with "knowing how", and often we practice to make skilled movements unconscious. The arts follow science in the schema here in what is fundamentally an attempt for Being to know itself through us, but the means are more various and less precise. Above all, the scheme here eschews the  facile reductionism inherent in subjectivism and  aesthetic,  moral and epistemological relativism There is also a third category of experience, relating to social processes in which we are objects as well as subjects and  a fourth i.e. biological processes that secure our continued existence, and both of these are exigent in that they demand we consider ourselves as objects. It is argued here that  treatment of these  categories of experience should be part of the true content of religion considered as the exaltation of humanity by immersion in the sacred. No attempt is made to supersede the sacraments like confirmation/bar mitzvah that introduce  the neophyte to a new level of participation in the community.  These are steeped in  useful algorithmic compressions of folk psychology applied to a particular culture. It is argued that a new chapter in humanity's dialogue with the cosmos can be opened with this reconstrued science, arts, and religion. To summarize in two sentences; It is argued that our experience oscillates between "alienated" and "centered" movements and that we should try and live in the "centered" process. This distinction is explored at the levels of sensorimotor experience, mentation, emotion, conviviality, power, and spirituality.
    • Biophotonic Route for Understanding Mind, Brain and the World

      Rajendra Prasad Baijpai (Cosmos Publishing Cooperative, 2015-11-29)
      Man is endowed with brain and mind for comprehending reality of the world. Brain is material entity and is observable, while mind is a non-physical conceived entity. Scientific investigations enhance our knowledge of the functioning of brain and its constituents. They indicate mind-brain association but do not rule out the possibility, in which mind is a property of brain. The perceived reality of the world has both objective and subjective components. The objective components are attributed to brain either alone or in association with mind.  The subjective components are considered to be the creations of mind but they appear to contain grains of reality. Attempts made to separate these grains have succeeded partially. One hopes for complete success only after the incorporation of a few missing ingredients. It is our contention that the missing ingredients are human being as an entangled quantum entity - photon field, quantum entity's capability to read information from photon fields of other humans and from its own field reflected by the environment. The evidence for the first ingredient is provided by the analysis of spontaneously emitted visible range photon signals by human beings. The other two ingredients put usual charge- photon interaction in proper context. The experimental results relevant to mind- brain interface are briefly described. A few minutes' time series of small portion of these signals determines their nine properties, which establish quantum nature of signal, and specify quantum state of the dominant component to be squeezed state.  Six properties differ in signals emitted at 12 anatomical sites of the same person. Profile of a property for a person is the set of its values at 12 sites. Profile is very informative and can discriminate persons with differing holistic features. Cluster analysis offers procedures for measuring qualitative holistic features e.g. procedure for measuring ‘meditativeness' of a person.  The incorporation of other two ingredients chalks out a route for answering the question who we are?
    • Bridging the “Two Cultures”: Merleau-Ponty and the Crisis in Modern Physics

      Steven M Rosen; City University of New York (Cosmos Publishing Cooperative, 2013-12-29)
      This paper brings to light the significance of Merleau-Ponty’s thinking for contemporary physics. The point of departure is his 1956–57 Collège de France lectures on Nature, coupled with his reflections on the crisis in modern physics appearing in The Visible and the Invisible. Developments in theoretical physics after his death are then explored and a deepening of the crisis is disclosed. The upshot is that physics’ intractable problems of uncertainty and subject-object interaction can only be addressed by shifting its philosophical base from objectivism to phenomenology, as Merleau-Ponty suggested. Merleau-Ponty’s allusion to “topological space” in The Visible and the Invisible provides a clue for bridging the gap between “hard science” and “soft philosophy.” This lead is pursued in the present paper by employing the paradoxical topology of the Klein bottle. The hope is that, by “softening” physics and “hardening” phenomenology, the “two cultures” (cf. C. P. Snow) can be wed and a new kind of science be born.
    • By Transmission: How it All Comes Down to Nothing (Gabriel Riera (ed.), Alain Badiou: Philosophy and its Conditions)

      Adam J. Bartlett; Deakin University (Cosmos Publishing Cooperative, 2005-12-19)
      Discussion of Gabriel Riera (ed.), Alain Badiou: Philosophy and its Conditions, New York, Suny, 2005.
    • Can Cinema Be Thought: Alain Badiou and the Artistic Condition

      Alex Ling (Cosmos Publishing Cooperative, 2006-10-27)
      Alain Badioursquo;s philosophy is generally understood to be a fundamentally mathematical enterprise, his principle categories of being, appearing, and truth being themselves thought only though specific scientific events. However the event itselfmdash;which constitutes the nexal point of his so-called lsquo;materialist dialecticrsquo;mdash;is contrarily thought not through mathematics but through art. And yet despite the fundamental role art plays in his philosophy Badioursquo;s lsquo;inaestheticrsquo; writings seem unduly proscriptive, allowing room principally for the expressly lsquo;literalrsquo; arts while eschewing for the most part those manifold arts which have little recourse to the letter. Badioursquo;s polemical writings on cinema are both symptomatic and serve as the most extreme example of this position, his cinema being one which wavers precariously on the border of art and non-art. This paper accordingly questions whether cinema can truly occupy a place in Badioursquo;s inaesthetics. I argue the hegemony of the letter in Badioursquo;s inaesthetics to be ultimately one of convenience and suggest that if cinematic truths are to be registered Badioursquo;s understanding of cinema as (what I interpret to be) an art of dis-appearance must be rejected. I conclude by contending the oppressive literality of Badioursquo;s philosophy to be symptomatic of its mathematical basismdash;a paradoxical position insofar as the very non-mathematical nature of art allows for evental thoughtmdash;the consequence of which being that Badiou regrettably neglects by and large those manifold illiterate arts that might otherwise serve to augment his thought.br /
    • Can Intelligence Escape its Terrestrial Past?: Anticiaptions of Existential Catastrrophe & Existential Hope from Haldane to Ćirković

      Thomas Moynihan (Cosmos Publishing Cooperative, 2020-05-06)
      This article explores the history of resonant idea that intelligence is locked in a struggle to outpace its deepest past so as to vouchsafe its furthest future. That is, can Homo sapiens escape its passively inherited evolutionary heritage in order to actively build something more properly universal? The article traces this dramatic notion across various thinkers of the 1800s and 1900s, locating its genesis in the notion that the human is the creature who increasingly rejects the merely natural so as to rely on its own artefacts and artifice. Because it answers to purposeful values that outstrip purposeless and unintelligent nature, intelligence incrementally replaces the accidental with the deliberate and designed so as to increasingly come to reside in a world entirely of its own making. This, however, comes with its own risks. The history of thinking upon the risks internal to our progressively artificial world is recounted, before an retracing of some of the most dramatic visions yet provided of what humanity's longest-term future could be if we prove able to outmanoeuvre our contingent terrestrial heritage so as to deliberately fabricate for ourselves a resplendent future in the stars.