• 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.
    • Can Long-Term Training in Highly Focused Forms of Observation Potientially Influence Performace in Terms of the Observer Model In Physics? Consideration of Adepts of Observational Meditation Practice

      William C. Bushell (Cosmos Publishing Cooperative, 2016-10-14)
      This paper presents developments in a published yet still little known model of how intensively trained individuals - adepts or virtuosi of special meditational techniques - appear to be potentially capable of radically enhancing their sensory perceptual capacities to the point of, for example, directly perceiving light at the scale of single photons, at the quantum mechanical limit of its detectability.  This is a working model which is based also on little-known work of leading physicists and biophysicists from Princeton, Stanford, Berkeley and other institutions.
    • Can the Relationship Between Narrative and History be Utilised to Better Understand the Problems within Social Science?

      Aaron Grinter; Swinburne University (Cosmos Publishing Cooperative, 2017-01-27)
      The current decline in recognition accorded to the humanities will be shown to be linked to the efforts of the social sciences to take up a flawed scientific epistemology. Through efforts to assert itself as a naturalistic scientific endeavour, it will be argued that the social sciences sacrificed the essential imaginative and humanistic components that are integral to an effective study of the social world. This essay will show that a similar pattern occurred within history, though it was able to redevelop a functioning epistemology through an emphasis of the centrality of stories to human existence and the formation of a grand narrative. Thus, the problems within social science might then be able to be solved by considering its own grand narrative. Most importantly, the formation of grand-narratives overcomes the nihilism of European civilizations and provides the foundations for a global ecological civilization.
    • Castoriadis on Althusser and the Crisis of Marxism

      Christos Memos; Teaching Fellow (Cosmos Publishing Cooperative, 2012-12-14)
      The issue concerning the crisis of Marxism has had a wide range of interpretations and has promoted debate and controversy. During the Cold War anti-communist hysteria and coming from a radical perspective, Castoriadis re-opened and participated in the above debate. Directing his critique against the theory and practice of Marxism, Castoriadis considered the crisis of Marxism as a crisis of Marx’s original thought as well. The degeneration of Marxism and the loss of its radical character were attributed to its transformation into a semi-religious dogma and a closed theoretical system.  Castoriadis returned, again, to this issue after Althusser`s public announcement of the crisis of Marxism in 1977. This paper discusses Castoriadis’s important, but still neglected fierce critique of the Althusser`s views and argues that it prompts a re-appreciation of considerable issues for contemporary emancipatory politics. First, Castoriadis’s critical alternative approach to the crisis of Marxism is located within the Marxist theoretical discussions on the issue. Following an outline of Althusser`s attempt to formulate the fundamental causes for what he meant to be an overt eruption of the crisis of Marxism, the essay goes on to present Castoriadis’s  critique and investigates the grounds on which it was put forward. The paper concludes with an assessment of the implications of Castoriadis’s arguments for the renewal of radical politics today.
    • Celtic Devotion, together with Translation of “Orthai Cosanta" by Sean O Duinn

      Sean O Nuallain; stanford (Cosmos Publishing Cooperative, 2017-11-11)
      The Benedictine monk Sean O Duinn is well-known for his writings in English and TV documentary appearances, espousing an ecological version of Celtic Christianity. In his writings in Gaelic, free from the Vatican censors, a more daring hypothesis emerges; Celtic Christianity was infused by old (possibly Aryan) themes from the Indus valley civilization. In this paper, we look at constraints on any new religious system, before excerpts from a work in progress to rescue this great figure as his end nears by translating this work into English.
    • Celtic Metaphysics and Consciousness

      Sean O Nuallain; University of Ireland (Cosmos Publishing Cooperative, 2017-03-26)
      The notorious Stonehenge minilith section of "This is Spinal Tap" begins with the singer intoning about the Druids that "nobody knows who they were or  what they were doing, but their legacy  lives on". While the same is not quite true for the Celts in general, in that they left plenty of physical evidence for of their existence beyond Stonehenge,  neither a Celtic Plato nor an  Aristotle has ever been postulated. This article excavates the subterranean zone of the crisis in today's Europe and proposes that perhaps something new can be invented that is consistent both with science and our limited knowledge of this fringe civilization. In particular, while constrained by adherence to Christianity like Vygotsky was to Stalinist communism, the mediaeval Irish philosopher Eriugena can - again like Vygotsky - be decoded as harbinger of a revolution in thought even beyond the explicit insights in which he abounds.
    • Challenging Sustainability. From Deconstruction to Reconstruction

      Proyecto VRI UC Interdisciplina Nº II160035; Luca Valera; Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile; Gonzalo Salazar Preece; Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile (Cosmos Publishing Cooperative, 2020-05-06)
      In recent decades the concept of sustainability has gained great prominence in the public debate and academic research as well. Today, it is a fundamental concept to address the complex crisis we are facing at planetary scales. However, after several decades, its definition is still associated with vague and ambiguous notions that are ultimately decimating its role as a guiding framework for a more sustainable living. There is still an important gap between its theory and its praxis. The article generates a philosophical deconstruction of the sustainability concept as a necessary action to address this difficulty. This examination allows to philosophically reconstruct fundamental characteristics of its content. The article suggests and argues that a relevant component of sustainability is its regulatory function in the sphere of human relations. It suggests and analyses that sustainability is a regulative idea that serves as a guide – a working concept – in the case of dilemmas that stem from the problem of maintaining responsibility towards future generations and the environment. From this standpoint, the article explores key aspects of sustainability as an ethically grounded concept and finally reflects about some applicative and educational implications.
    • Chaos beyond Order: Overcoming the Quest for Certainty and Conservation in Modern Western Sciences

      Riccardo Baldissone (Cosmos Publishing Cooperative, 2013-07-08)
      Chaos theory not only stretched the concept of chaos well beyond its traditional semantic boundaries, but it also challenged fundamental tenets of physics and science in general. Hence, its present and potential impact on the Western worldview cannot be underestimated. I will illustrate the relevance of chaos theory in regard to modern Western thought by tracing the concept of order, which modern thinkers emphasised as chaos’ dichotomic counterpart. In particular, I will underline how the concern of seventeenth-century natural philosophers with order and conservation oriented the production of their concept of nature. Moreover, I will match this resulting world of natural facts with both the classical construction of the cosmos, and the nineteenth-century physico-chemical structure of conservation laws. Furthermore, I will recall the challenges to the deterministic and determinable modern scientific framework. These challenges arose from within the hard sciences, and they were often understood as a temporary lack of knowledge. I will argue that scientists long failed to acknowledge results that were at odds with their expectations, which were deeply engrained in modern Western thought, and which even harked back to the classical theoretical framework. Finally, I will suggest a link between the cultural earthquake that shook Western societies during the ‘long sixties,’ and the questioning of scientific expectations, which chaos theory defied.
    • Chronicles of Insurrection: Tronti, Negri and the Subject of Antagonism

      Alberto Toscano; Goldsmiths College, University of London (Cosmos Publishing Cooperative, 2009-07-23)
      This article seeks to trace the origins of contemporary ‘post-workerism’ in the formulation of concepts of political subjectivity, antagonism and insurrection in Tronti and Negri. In particular, it tries to excavate the seemingly paradoxical position which postulates the increasing immanence of struggles, as based on the Marxian thesis of real subsumption, together with the intensification of the political autonomy or separation of the working class. In order to grasp the political and theoretical proposals of Italian workerism and autonomism, Toscano concentrates on the thesis of a historical transformation of capitalism into an increasingly parasitical and politically violent social relation, a thesis which is grounded in an interpretation of Marx’s notion of ‘tendency’ and which serves as the background to the exploration, especially in Negri, of increasingly uncompromising forms of antagonism. The article focuses especially on Tronti’s so-called ‘Copernican revolution’—giving workers’ struggles primacy in the understanding of capitalism—and critically inquires into the effect of this workerist axiom on Negri’s writings on proletarian sabotage and insurrection in the 1970s. By way of a conclusion, it notes the difficulties in prolonging the workerist gambit in light of capital’s continued effort, as Tronti would put it, to emancipate itself from the working class.
    • Chronicling the Erosion of Noumena

      Fabio Gironi; University of London (Cosmos Publishing Cooperative, 2010-08-04)
      Review of Lee Braver's A Thing of This World
    • Climate Change and Some Other Implications of Vibratory Existence

      Glenn McLaren; Swinburne Unviersity (Cosmos Publishing Cooperative, 2009-11-25)
      Modern Process Philosophy began when Alfred North Whitehead realized that existence is primarily vibratory, not points but processes. Vibrations are best understood as sound waves, or through using auditory metaphors rather than visual ones. Our Universe is more like music than matter, but how does this help us better understand it? In this paper I use the example of the large ocean current oscillators that help drive our climate systems to reveal the more effective nature of auditory approaches. Through an auditory approach, we can better understand the ways these oscillations constrain and interact with other levels of oscillations as well as how they might be destroyed by other levels. This can then lead to us extending our ethics to the conservation of these oscillations.
    • Community and Nihilism

      Roberto Esposito; Istituto Italiano di Scienze Umane (SUM), Naples (Cosmos Publishing Cooperative, 2009-07-23)
      Developing the arguments put forward in books such as Communitas, in this article the political  philosopher Roberto Esposito tries to overcome the customary opposition between the notions of community and nihilism. His aim is to rethink what community might mean in an age of ‘completed nihilism’. In a subtle genealogical and etymological analysis of the concept of community, he demonstrates how, rather than establishing a substantial and positive bond, community is constituted by nothingness, by a shared lack—which communal, communitarian and totalitarian politics seek to deny. The excavation of the meaning of communitas allows Esposito to critically examine the manner in which the thinking of community has been expunged by modern political philosophy.
    • Complexity Biology-based Information Structures can explain Subjectivity, Objective Reduction of Wave Packets, and Non-Computability

      Alex Hankey; sVYASA Yoga University in Bangalore (Cosmos Publishing Cooperative, 2014-06-08)
      Background: how mind functions is subject to continuing scientific discussion. A simplistic approach says that, since no convincing way has been found to model subjective experience, mind cannot exist. A second holds that, since mind cannot be described by classical physics, it must be described by quantum physics. Another perspective concerns mind's hypothesized ability to interact with the world of quanta: it should be responsible for reduction of quantum wave packets; physics producing ‘Objective Reduction' is postulated to form the basis for mind-matter interactions. This presentation describes results derived from a new approach to these problems. It is based on well-established biology involving physics not previously applied to the fields of mind, or consciousness studies, that of critical feedback instability. Methods: ‘self-organized criticality' in complexity biology places system loci of control at critical instabilities, physical properties of which, including information properties, are presented. Their elucidation shows that they can model hitherto unexplained properties of experience. Results: All results depend on physical properties of critical instabilities. First, at least one feed-back or feed-forward loop must have feedback gain, g = 1: information flows round the loop impress perfect images of system states back on themselves: they represent processes of perfect self-observation. This annihilates system quanta: system excitations are instability fluctuations, which cannot be quantized. Major results follow: 1.    Information vectors representing criticality states must include at least one attached information loop denoting self-observation.  2.    Such loop structures are attributed a function, 'registering the state's own existence', explaining a.    Subjective ‘awareness of one's own presence' b.    How content-free states of awareness can be remembered (Jon Shear) c.    Subjective experience of time duration (Immanuel Kant) d.    The ‘witness' property of experience - often mentioned by athletes ‘in the zone' e.    The natural association between consciousness and intelligence This novel, physically and biologically sound approach seems to satisfactorily model subjectivity. Further significant results follow: 1.    Registration of external information in excited states of systems at criticality reduces external wave-packets: the new model exhibits ‘Objective Reduction' of wave packets. 2.    High internal coherence (postulated by Domash & Penrose) leading to a. Non-separable information vector bundles. b. Non-reductive states (Chalmers's criterion for experience). 3.    Information that is: a. encoded in coherence negentropy; b. non-digitizable, and therefore c. computationally without digital equivalent (posited by Penrose). Discussion and Conclusions: instability physics implies anharmonic motion, preventing excitation quantization, and totally different from the quantum physics of simple harmonic motion at stability. Instability excitations are different from anything hitherto conceived in information science. They can model aspects of mind never previously treated, including genuine subjectivity, objective reduction of wave-packets, and inter alia all properties given above.
    • Complexity, Sustainability, Justice, and Meaning: Chronological Versus Dynamical Time

      not applicable; Horacio Velasco; Unaffiliated (Cosmos Publishing Cooperative, 2009-11-25)
      Abstract: It is shown that time may be appreciated in at least two senses: chronological and dynamical. Chronological time is the time of our naïve acquaintance as transient beings. At its most extensive scale, it corresponds to history encompassing both the abiotic and the biotic  universe. Dynamical time, deriving from classical mechanics, is the time embraced by most of the laws of physics. It concerns itself only with present conditions since it is held that that the past may be reconstructed from the present (literally) and the future predicted from the present, a position known as Laplacian determinism.  Nonlinear dynamics has shown the fallacy of this supposition because, of necessity, the concrete values that may be assumed in the variables of the equations of motion constituting the laws of physics (i.e. the present or starting conditions) as a result of the spontaneous or intentional interaction of subject (or measuring) systems and of object (or measured) systems, cannot be of infinite precision. Indeed, even if they could be, it is not at all clear that they would permit Laplacian determinism because of what is thought to be the ubiquity of K-flow dynamics in nature in which even infinite past information leading to the present cannot yield prediction of the future. In consequence, nonlinear dynamics, in rebellion against dynamical time, generates a primitive form of history distinguishing past, present, and future that may be termed nonlinear dynamical hysteresis.  When nonlinear dynamics came to be complemented with semiotic modulation through the implement of symbol-mediated language (a complementation subsequently termed semantic closure) as first instantiated through the communicating (as opposed  to merely dynamically interacting) molecular complexes of the cell, what can be termed semiotic hysteresis was born. The paper attempts to show that indefinitely evolving complexity, sustainability, justice, and meaning are indissolubly bound with chronological time in the sense of semiotic hysteresis (as afforded initially by non-cognitive semantic closure and subsequently, at least one hopes, by cognitive semantic closure): This semiotic hysteresis yields the indefinite evolutionary time of the living condition—including culture. 
    • Concealed Chora in the Thought of Cornelius Castoriadis: A Bastard Comment on Trans-Regional Creation

      Sean McMorrow; Monash University (Cosmos Publishing Cooperative, 2012-12-14)
      The chora has proven to be an obscure concept in contemporary philosophy. Cornelius Castoriadis seemed to retreat from the edge of its significance within his work, a significance that is capable of opening up another turn in the labyrinth of his thought. A clear interrogation into the presence of the chora in his thought has, still, yet to be elucidated. This paper proceeds with a notion of the chora defined for the purpose of highlighting its relevance for Castoriadis’ thought, taking up his schema trans-regional ontology and imaginary creation, which lean on the anticipation of a self-altering otherness. Locating the chora in Castoriadis’ trans-regional architectonics of being.
    • Conceptual Nonlocality

      David A. Grandy; Brigham Young University (Cosmos Publishing Cooperative, 2007-08-17)
      Nonlocality is a puzzling issue in modern physics. I propose that, aside from the experimental determination of nonlocality, the concept of atomistic lightmdash;discrete, self-bounded photonsmdash;breaks down toward something like nonlocality when subjected to philosophical scrutiny. Louis de Broglie made a similar argument regarding the material atom: the concept of the classical atom, when interrogated, collapses upon itself to offer a glimpse of wave-particle duality. Light atoms or photons, I argue, similarly collapse toward the contradictory possibility of nonlocality.
    • Conditional Notes on a New Republic

      A. J. Bartlett; Deakin University (Cosmos Publishing Cooperative, 2006-10-27)
      We attempt to discern what Badiou’s philosophical system provides for thinking of education in a form which separates it from its contemporary representation in the state. These notes oppose to this state form Badiou’s declaration that ‘the only education is an education by truths’. We pursue this in three sections. First, we will address the significance and function of the term ‘conditions’. Secondly we will address Badiou’s essay ‘Art and Philosophy’ from Handbook of Inaesthetics, the only essay in fact where Badiou addresses education in a specific manner and in which Badiou discusses the link between art and philosophy in terms of the ‘pedagogical theme’: A theme, he says, that has been brought to collapse. Thirdly we will attempt to discern what might make up what Badiou refers to as the ‘fourth modality’ of the link between philosophy and its conditions through a somewhat speculative discussion of the dual ‘militant’ praxis known in Badiou’s work as ‘subtraction’ and ‘forcing’.
    • Consciousness and Brain Science: Mechanisms by Which Nature Knows Itself Through Us

      Sean O Nuallain; stanford (Cosmos Publishing Cooperative, 2016-10-14)
      The first argument in this  article is that, absent what would truly be a paradigm change (for once that hackneyed term is meet) 21st century brain science is already set on a sterile and unethical course. An alternative, dynamical systems approach based on the work of Freeman, Hoffman  and Pribam is outlined. Moreover, it is argued that this allots physicists in the area appropriate work to do, versus the current Herculean/Augean task left behind to them by neuro"scientists". The article continues with a radical reparse of the concepts in what has become the consciousness industry. Finally, a set of promising concepts is explored, starting with the holographic idea of memory. Above all,  phase and amplitude modulation of a carrier wave are given a central role, as is the possibility of quantum effects in informational processing of the attentional stream.
    • Consciousness Began with a Hunter's Plan

      Walter Freeman; University of California at Berkeley (Cosmos Publishing Cooperative, 2014-06-08)
      Animals search for food and shelter by locomotion through time and space. The elemental step is the action-perception cycle, which has three steps. In the first step a volley of action potentials initiated by an act of search (sniff, saccade, etc.) triggers the formation of a macroscopic wave packet that constitutes the memory of the stimulus. The wave packet is filtered and sent to the entorhinal cortex, where it is combined with wave packets from all sensory systems. This triggers the second step forming a unified memory that is passed through the hippocampal formation where it is assigned a place in the life-long memory of the subject. In the third step the output of the entorhinal cortex triggers the formation of a global wave packet that synchronizes the oscillatory activity of most of not all of the cerebral cortex. This shared oscillation caries a pattern of amplitude modulation, that can be observed non-invasively from the scalp EEG of human volunteers perceiving the stimulus and correlated with the stimulus. The same dendritic electric currents that drive the output of the brains of the wave packet drive the observed EEG signs. Therefore I postulate that the global wave packet, the third step in the cycle requiring only 0.2 seconds expresses the memory of the global accommodation that initiates the next action-perception cycle. Some unspecified fraction of the AM pattern is available to me the observer, and some other unspecified fraction of the total activity in the subject who is expected to respond to the stimulus. There is reason to hope that these fractions will coincide often enough to support refinements in techniques for extending these correlates of consciousness.