• Objects in manifold times: Deleuze and the speculative philosophy of objects as processes

      The University of Dundee; James Williams; University of Dundee (Cosmos Publishing Cooperative, 2011-10-13)
      This essay shows how real objects must be processes for Gilles Deleuze. These processes are determined by his account of time as a nine-fold manifold of processes deduced from Deleuze’s account of three interconnected syntheses of time in his Difference and Repetition (Différence et repetition, henceforth DR). It will also be argued that Deleuze’s philosophy of time is speculative in a broad sense and that Deleuze’s account of the real is opposed to forms of abstraction which associate objects with conceptual, perceptual or transcendental identity. In order to demonstrate the radical and systematic nature of Deleuze’s account of process, there is a discussion of a basic process underlying his manifold of time. This process is opposed to Markov chains, in order to set up an opposition to interpretations of Deleuze’s philosophy that deny its metaphysical and speculative approach in favour of scientific realism.
    • Observations: The Building Blocks of the World

      Vipul Arora; Department of Electrical Engineering, IIT Kanpur, India; Laxmidhar Behera (Cosmos Publishing Cooperative, 2018-01-13)
      Physics aims at building mathematical models of the underlying nature for explaining and predicting our observations. Based on the experimental data, mathematical quantities and concepts are formulated, and physical theories are constructed, from which we derive our ontological understanding of the underlying building blocks of nature. However, at times, certain phenomena, unnoticed before, fail to agree to the predictions made by those theories. This forces us to give up the old theories and construct new ones. In this paper, we argue that we can very effectively avoid this problem by constructing physical theories with observations as the basic building blocks, or the primary properties, and the mathematical constructs as the emergent properties. We provide an outline of the mathematical framework of our approach, and use it to analyze various concepts in physics, e.g., Newton's laws of motion, conservation of energy, wave-particle duality, etc., in terms of relationships between the observations made by different detectors. This approach not only provides a new robust way to do physics, but also leads to an ontological understanding of nature that goes beyond many of the present problems and paradoxes.
    • Of Mice Moths and Men Machines

      Susan Schuppli; Goldsmiths (Cosmos Publishing Cooperative, 2009-03-14)
      In 1947, Grace Murray Hopper a pioneer in early computing made an unusual entry into her daily logbook: ‘Relay #70 Panel F (moth) in relay. First actual case of bug being found.’ Accompanying this entry is an actual celluloid tape encrusted bug, or more specifically a moth, fastened to the page of the logbook. According to Hopper, one of the technicians in her team solved a glitch in the Harvard Mark II computer by pulling an actual insect out from between the contacts of one of its relays. Word soon went out that they had ‘debugged the machine’ and the phrase quickly entered our lexicon. After languishing for years this mythic moth was eventually transported to the Smithsonian where it now lies in archival state. The moth’s dynamic vitality had introduced a kind of surplus or aberrant code into the machine, which in effect pushed the machine towards a state of chaos and breakdown. Its failure to act as desired, to perform the coding sequences of its programmed history suggests that even a seemingly inert or lifeless machine can become ‘more and other than its history’. (Elizabeth Grosz, 2005) Hopper’s bug is thus a material witness to the creative co-evolution of the machine with the living matter of the moth. Moreover, as a cipher for machinic defect the bug reminds us that mutations are in fact necessary for systems to change and evolve. The crisis introduced into a biological system or machine through the virulence of the bug is terminal only to the extent that it becomes the source for another kind of order, another kind of interaction. This is used as a case study to argue that chaos is not only an animating force in the constitution of new systems but is necessary for the evolution of difference.
    • On a Certain Blindness in Political Matters

      Michel Weber (Cosmos Publishing Cooperative, 2011-12-30)
      This essay argues for two complementary theses, one pertaining to epistemology and the other to politics. First, unless philosophy adopts a radical empiricist standpoint and seeks the uttermost generalities, it cannot differentiate itself from yet another form of limited expertise and becomes useless. Second, both radical empiricism and imaginative pragmatism lead the philosopher towards the left end of the political spectrum, i.e., to a radically progressive politics. 
    • On Being, Nothingness and Ontological Homelessness: An Heideggerian Inquiry into Authenticity

      Prashan Ranasinghe; University of Ottawa (Cosmos Publishing Cooperative, 2020-05-06)
      This article claims that Martin Heidegger places significant importance on the ontological homelessness of beings, by which he means that beings are distanced and separated from their very essence and thus live inauthentic lives. Heidegger views this as more concerning than ontic homelessness, the condition of being without housing in the material sense. To explicate this, the article examines the fundamental attunements of profound boredom and anxiety and illustrates the way Heidegger relies upon them to underline the meaning of existence as nothingness. The article explicates the way Heidegger thinks about nothingness as a feeling or sense that things are not quite right and articulates how this not-quite-rightness is, in turn, read as the homelessness of being. The article reads the condition of being homeful (of having a home and being fulfilled) alongside and against the condition of ontic homelessness (via the example of contemporary homelessness,) to draw attention to the meaning of existence and to underline insights about being that can be culled from the condition of contemporary homelessness, insights, the article argues, the homeful would do well to pay heed to.
    • On Having Faith in a Living Reason: Or, Why You Can't Get There from Here

      Murray Code; University of Guelph (Cosmos Publishing Cooperative, 2016-05-23)
      In proposing to tell a Lamarckian story about evolution, Samuel Butler not only put into question the good sense of the neo-Darwinian approach which presupposes the adequacy of the modern conception of of good reasoning. Modelled on systematic (e.g., logico-mathematical) ratiocination, this conception, he intimates, bespeaks a sick culture that actually betrays reason by elevating techno-scientific ingenuity to a god-like status. Evidence for this serious charge is afforded by neuroscientists who maintain, for instance, that consciousness can be `explained' in terms of electro-chemical events in material brains. This reductive approach to the great themes of Life and Thought degrades the complex relationships between living and thinking. In this paper I propose to show that Butler's approach to naturalistic story-telling can be extended in such a way as to illustrate what Owen Barfield calls a `living reason'; that is, a vitalistic form of reasoning that may help remedy a cultural malaise that is threatening the long-term health of this civilization, if not the entire world.
    • On Inertia: Resistance to Change in Individuals, Institutions and the Development of Knowledge

      Irish Research Council; Bart Zantvoort; University College Dublin (Cosmos Publishing Cooperative, 2015-08-23)
      The term ‘inertia’ is often used to describe a kind of irrational resistance to change in individuals or institutions. Institutions, ideas and power structures appear to become entrenched over time, and may become ineffective or obsolete, even if they once played a legitimate or useful role. In this paper I argue that there is a common set of problems underlying the occurrence of resistance to change in individuals, social structures and the development of knowledge. Resistance to change is not always irrational or problematic; it is also necessary to allow stable personal identities and social structures to survive in a constantly changing world. I offer a historical and theoretical framework for the question of inertia. Finally, I argue that philosophy has often seen its task to be the critique of ossified, inert or obsolete ideas and social structures, but that it has neglected the positive dimension of resistance to change.
    • On Letting the Dialectic Go

      Murray Code; University of Guelph (Cosmos Publishing Cooperative, 2007-08-17)
      Alfred North Whiteheadrsquo;s critique of modern naturalisms suggest that they betray reason by ignoring the vast extent and depth of the problematic of symbolism. This is partly borne out by the still unexplained fact that highly abstract systems of symbolism, as in mathematics, can throw light on the hidden workings of nature. But since these include ordinary perception itself, and since symbolisms always mediate between minds and nature, all reasonings about truth or reality elicit references to mysterious natural powers. Good reasoning in natural philosophy thus requires an artful dialectic which is primarily concerned not with exact analyses of meanings but rather with the element of creativity in their ongoing production. Such a dialectic must be based on a polar logic that is opposed to the modern tendency to treat fundamental conceptual contrasts, such as nature-culture, subject-object, matter-spirit, and so on, as separable.
    • On Mathematical Naturalism and the Powers of Symbolisms

      Murray Code; University of Guelph (Canada) (Cosmos Publishing Cooperative, 2005-10-20)
      Advances in modern mathematics indicate that progress in this field of knowledge depends mainly on culturally inflected imaginative intuitions, or intuitive imaginings—which mysteriously result in the growth of systems of symbolism that are often efficacious, although fallible and very likely evolutionary. Thus the idea that a trouble-free epistemology can be constructed out of an intuition-free mathematical naturalism would seem to be question begging of a very high order. I illustrate the point by examining Philip Kitcher’s attempt to frame an empiricist philosophy of mathematics, which he calls “mathematical naturalism,” wherein he proposes to explain novelty in mathematics by means of the notion of ‘rational interpractice transitions,’ only to end with an appeal to science to supply a meaning for rationality. A more promising naturalistic approach is adumbrated by Noam Chomsky who begins with a straightforward acceptance of mind and language as ‘natural’ or concrete facts which bespeak the need for a linguistic faculty. This indicates in turn that there may also be a mathematical faculty capable of generating and exploiting the powers of mathematical symbolisms in a manner analogous to the linguistic faculty.
    • On Plasticity’s Own Conceptual Epigenesis: Malabou on the Origin and History of Plasticity

      Thomas Wormald; Western University (Cosmos Publishing Cooperative, 2020-05-06)
      This paper proposes an immanent critique of Catherine Malabou’s account of the origin of plasticity, arguing that Malabou’s account of plasticity—as a philosophical concept or form—does not meet the standard of her own conception of the epigenetic development of form. Using Malabou’s Before Tomorrow: Epigenesis and Rationality, this paper argues that Malabou’s own account of plasticity hews closer to theories of formation Malabou explicitly abjures: spontaneous generation and preformationism. Accordingly, Malabou’s articulation of plasticity lacks an account of its conceptual epigenesis that would fulfill the epigenetic standards of her own thinking.
    • On Quantum Mechanical Automata, Gödel Numbers, and Self-Referring Consciousness

      Fred Alan Wolf (Cosmos Publishing Cooperative, 2018-01-13)
      In this paper I shall show how a post-quantum physical model of the self-referring mind based on Albert's quantum automata and Yurov's Gödelzing model of the same can be constructed. A quantum automaton seems to exhibit privacy of consciousness-the realization of an individual mind and what differentiates a "self-mind" from an "other-mind". My model, extending from Albert and Yurov, is based on consideration of qubits acting as quantum state vectors and quantum mechanical operators acting as quantum computer gates. I hope to show: The relationship of Gödel's undecidibility proof to David Z. Albert's model of quantum automata can be understood in quantum computing language. Whether or not we need new physics to understand self-referring quantum automata. The privacy of consciousness-why we each have the realization of an individual mind and what differentiates a "self-mind" from an "other-mind" The connection between objective and subjective experience. In this rather simple manner, I believe I have explained how it is that our experiences of the "out there" world, that we know must include our memories in order to be perceived, appear to us as occurring "out there" even though we strongly suspect from neurophysiology that such experiences must be projected from our brains and nervous systems in some yet to be determined manner.
    • On the Horizon of Hospitality

      Thea Madeleine Potter; University of Melbourne (Cosmos Publishing Cooperative, 2015-08-23)
      A thrown stone raises the question of the position of authority and does so only by remarking us as responsible for our limits and their transgression, but it also raises the problem of boundaries. Are they natural, or are they inscribed in us? In Ancient Athens, boundary-stones were inscribed with a word (horos) that raises the problem of definition by implicating a coincidence of meanings. These stones were never supposed to mark a boundary as an adamantine barrier proscribing transgression from one side to the other. And yet they did not for all that cease to be and mark a boundary. Although the identity between the stone and the word for boundary does not provide any answers as to how boundaries should be maintained or dissolved, it does raise the problem of the relation that the boundary engenders and the bond that it poses between two sides as a question of hospitality.
    • On the Nature of Quantum Dynamical Variables

      James R. Johnston (Cosmos Publishing Cooperative, 2015-11-29)
      An elementary review of the origin of quantum theory, with focus on the nature of the quantum dynamic variables, reveals the essential wave-likeness of quantum dynamics. The introduction of the concept of point-particle entities resulted from over-use of classical perspectives, and an issue of language: conflation of the concepts of point-particle localization, and discreteness of quantum detections. Keeping in mind the distinction between point-localization and discreteness of quantum exchange, it is clear that there is no experimental evidence for point-localization. A simple review of the origin of quantum theory, and review of several experiments designed to explore "wave-particle duality" and "complementarity" support this perspective.
    • On the Necessity of Including the Observer in Physical Theory

      Wolfgang Baer; Nascent Systems Inc. (Cosmos Publishing Cooperative, 2015-11-29)
      All statements describing physical reality are derived through interpretation of measurement results that requires a theory of the measuring instruments used to make the measurements. The ultimate measuring instrument is our body which displays its measurement results in our mind. Since a physical theory of our mind-body is unknown, the correct interpretation of its measurement results is unknown. The success of the physical sciences has led to a tendency to treat assumption in physics as indisputable facts. This tendency hampers the development of new theories capable of addressing the foundations of mind. To show the possibility that false interpretations of experimental results have lead to equally false projections onto physical reality may have happened, the double slit experiment and special relativity experiments are examined in detail. I will show that strongly held a-priory beliefs characterizing measurement instruments have lead to unjustified but widely held concepts in physical theories. For example the assumption that material bodies have minds can change the interpretation of experiments to produce alternative physical theories. Since some material bodies have minds this paper calls for a review of the conscious observer’s role in the execution and interpretation of fundamental physics experiments in order to verify or challenge the basic beliefs adopted in standard physical theories.
    • On the Need for Speculative Philosophy Today

      Andrew James Taggart (Cosmos Publishing Cooperative, 2012-05-03)
      ‘On the Need for Speculative Philosophy Today’ takes seriously Hegel’s claims that speculative philosophy begins in diremption and ends in higher-order conceptualization. To make Hegel’s theses more perspicuous, I examine the set of modern life needs—historical, metaphysical, phenomenological, and political—that give rise to speculative philosophy. I then attempt to show that speculative philosophy’s ultimate aim is to provide us with higher-order consolation. In the final section, I mean to draw on the second sense of speculation, conjecturing that rational form of inquiry I have undertaken is a propaedeutic to ‘philosophies of action’: philosophy of life and public philosophy.  
    • On the Ontological Status of Observations

      Alexander Lunkov; Institute of Philosophy and Law of the Ural Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences (Cosmos Publishing Cooperative, 2020-05-06)
      The problem of observations is one of the cornerstones of science. It connects with several ontological, epistemological and methodological questions. The nature of science depends on how we answer these questions. Modern science is at the stage of a new revision of its fundamental basis. In addition to science, the problems of the essence of observations and the status of an observer are actively discussed in modern philosophy. Such philosophical trends as speculative realism, etc., tend to resume the old discussion about the role of the observer in the study of natural phenomena. This is done based on modern scientific discoveries and theories. The solution to the problem of observation is important for the further development of quantum physics and other branches of natural science. However, there are several difficulties in achieving this goal. One of them is the inadequacy of the concepts of scientific language to describe the ontological specifics of observations. The concepts of a scientific language tend to reduce or to simplify a complex phenomenon to a monosemantic description. At the same time, there is an aspiration to connect the ontological nature of observations with the functioning of human senses. We study this situation with the example of one of the new articles devoted to the problem of the essence of observations and their role in the construction of a scientific model of the world.
    • On the Philosophical Inadequacy of Modern Physics and the Need for a Theory of Space

      Henry H Lindner; Cosmos (Cosmos Publishing Cooperative, 2015-08-23)
      We are drawn to physics by our desire to understand the most fundamental physical entities and processes of the Cosmos, from which all complexity evolves. However, the foundational models we are using, Relativity and Quantum Mechanics, were not created for this purpose. They confine inquiry to the description and prediction of the observer’s experiences and measurements. Not understanding these models’ limitations, physicists misinterpret and misapply them in their attempts to explain phenomena, producing confusion. The recent discoveries of black holes and the galaxial rotation and recession anomalies have highlighted the need for a new approach. Theoretical physics must become space physics—the study of space and its causal role in all fundamental phenomena including particle formation gravity, inertia, and electromagnetism. To replace Newtonian Mechanics and Relativity we need only identify the position and motion of the space that causes the effects that they describe. Gravity then appears to be the flow of inertial-electromagnetic space into or out of celestial bodies. This theory leads to plausible explanations for the biggest mysteries in Cosmology.
    • On the Sickness of Modern Reason Or, What If...?

      Murray Code; University of Guelph (Cosmos Publishing Cooperative, 2017-11-11)
      To ask this famous question in 2017 under the threat of an imminent global catastrophe is to invite a host of very tricky interlocking questions, not the least of which is whether a rescue could be effected in the short time that we seem to have available. This is apart from the worry whether a sufficiently determined collective will would be able to effect the changes in thinking that are needed. Then again, the impending environmental crisis, which is generally referred to as anthropogenic `climate change,' may be but one of many symptoms of a civilization that is passing through the last stages of its finite time on Earth.  
    • On the Systemic Meaning of Meaningless Utterances: The Place of Language in Hegel's Speculative Philosophy

      Toula Nicolacopoulos; La Trobe University (Australia); George Vassilacopoulos; La Trobe University (Australia) (Cosmos Publishing Cooperative, 2005-10-20)
      The aim of our paper is to offer a reading of the systemic significance of Hegel’s inclusion of the concept of the sign in the ‘Psychology’ of his Philosophy of Mind. We hope to explain why it is that the Hegelian system positions a specific form of sign, the meaningless utterance, at the point of Mind’s transition from ‘mechanical memory’ to ‘Thinking’. Rather than analyse the subtle advancements in the unfolding of the self-determining activity of ‘Theoretical Mind’, our strategy will be to focus attention on what we take to be some central aspects of the philosophical system’s wider developmental logic and of the general treatment of language in speculative philosophy. We do this by arguing that, according to Hegel’s Logic, language provides the element in which persons are drawn together out of their independent subjectivity into a unity that gives expression to their universal nature as in process and, ultimately, as a project to be realized. This argument is supplemented by a reading of the general nature of the movement of Spirit within Hegel’s system that draws attention to the significance of what we call ‘the absolute potentiality’ of Spirit. We argue that the transition from Mechanical Memory to ‘Thinking’ relies upon the activity of producing the meaningless utterance because this product of Mind reveals its universal nature to be its essential unity with its object. This transition allows us to show how Mind must be understood to return to itself out of its self-loss in Mechanical Memory. Finally we argue that the production of the meaningless utterance fulfils the requirement of reformulating the elementary idea of Spirit through an incorporation of the naturalness of the natural.
    • On the Varieties of Religious Rationality: Plato (and the Buddha) versus the New Atheists

      Joseph Morrill Kirby; Institute for Christian Studies (Cosmos Publishing Cooperative, 2015-08-23)
      Holocaust survivor Victor Frankl claims that human beings are spiritually and mentally free, and that it is possible to maintain one's dignity even in a concentration camp. If this tremendous claim is true, it is true regardless of who says it. However, it is only when the claim is made by someone like Frankl that it functions rhetorically, actually prompting the listener to reflect on what it might mean. In the Gorgias, Socrates argues for an even more extreme version of this same idea: that it would be better to be tortured to death than to torture someone else, because it is impossible for a torturer to be happy. This paper shows why, if what Frankl and Socrates say is true, both tradition and myth are perfectly rational modes of discourse, and why a culture that rejects the capacity of tradition and myth to disclose truth will almost inevitably reject these claims as irrational. This discussion is framed in terms of an interesting disjunct in the meaning of the term "atheist," as it is used by the New Atheists and as it is used by Plato, and is set in dialogue with the claims of as Vipassana meditation teacher S. N. Goenka, whose teachings bear remarkable similarity to Plato's.