Dialectica presents a FREE virtual issue!

dialectica cover, June 2011Founded in 1947, dialectica is the official journal of the European Society for Analytic Philosophy (ESAP), publishing first-rate articles predominantly in theoretical and systematic philosophy. Although edited in Switzerland with a focus on analytical philosophy undertaken on the continent, dialectica publishes articles from all over the world and has a truly global relevance. It is ranked A on the European Research Index for the Humanities of the European Science Foundation. Click here to view recent submission statistics and here to read some highlights from the journal over the years.

Continuing the work of its founding members, dialectica seeks a better understanding of the mutual support between science and philosophy and promotes that both disciplines need and enjoy in their common search for understanding. In this exciting virtual issue, the editorial team has selected some recent articles to showcase content from dialectica that particularly reflects the journal’s relevance to a US audience. These articles are representative of the many domains in which dialectica publishes, from ontology to epistemology and philosophy of mind or the theory of rationality. dialectica has recently published special issues on vectors, concepts, emotions, colours, and the philosophy of Kit Fine. We are confident that you will find this virtual issue interesting and informative.

Two Defenses of Common-Sense Ontology
Uriah Kriegel

Paderewski Variations
R. Mark Sainsbury

The Model-Theoretic Argument against Quantifying over Everything
Iris Einheuser

Relation-Based Thought, Objectivity and Disagreement
Christopher Peacocke

A Tale of Two Vectors
Marc Lange

On Some Recent Criticisms of the ‘Linguistic’ Approach to Ontology
Matti Eklund

Against Universal Mereological Composition
Crawford Elder

Rationality, Reasoning and Group Agency
Philip Pettit

Towards a Neo-Aristotelian Mereology
Kathrin Koslicki

Response to Kathrin Koslicki
Kit Fine

If you enjoyed these articles, why not activate a free 30-day trial to dialectica?

dialectica, official journal of ESAP

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Quantum Effects are Getting Observably Bigger

Thought you were big enough to escape quantum superposition?  A recent demonstration by physicist Andrew Cleland and his colleagues at UC Santa Barbara suggests otherwise.  Tiny particles have always been subject to quantum effects, but many physicists were skeptical those effects could be reproduced in larger objects.  In an amazing leap, Cleland and his team succeeded in demonstrating quantum effects in an object with trillions of atoms, beating the previous record (fewer than 100 atoms) by a factor of over a billion!

Quantum mechanical experiments have long revealed that a particle can exist in a state of superposition, a state that seems to allow it to be in two contradictory states at once.  It seems as if a particle can pass simultaneously through two slits, or be in a ground state and an excited state at once, or even take two wildly different paths through an experiment.  There are many different explanations for such odd behavior (see below) but the important thing is that until now, these effects were unimaginably small.

According to a recent article in Nature, Cleland’s experiment Continue reading “Quantum Effects are Getting Observably Bigger”

Twittering On

The Thread begins a new series on London’s Resonance FM, starting with an episode entitled ‘The Poetics of Twitter‘. The Twitter device reveals interesting and often counter-intuitive phenomena that challenge pre-conceived philosophical and aesthetic notions – about formation of the self, about Ego, about what ‘space’ or ‘network’ might mean, about semiotics.

Most fascinating are the multifarious manipulations of the Twitter form by artists, poets, academics: a piece of software designed to attract followers according to an exponential scale and then groom these followers according to a specific demographic; another that posted every letter typed into a particular PC directly onto a Twitter account, revealing intimate details of a person’s activities; another using Twitter as the structural framework for a kind of automatic poetry.

Fascinating also is what the response to such new media may be from traditional academic circles. In an attempt to keep up with hyperspeed technology, will we see more fragmentary, topical discussion-based analysis and less long-form literature?

Related articles:
Experimental Philosophy
By Joshua Knobe , University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill
(Vol. 1, November 2006)
Philosophy Compass

The Text-Performance Relation in Theater
By James Hamilton , Kansas State University
(Vol. 4, June 2009)
Philosophy Compass

Virtual Conference Report: Day Six (26 Oct, 2009)

Snapshot1_003By Paula Bowles

Welcome to the second week of the Wiley-Blackwell Virtual Conference. The first day back has started with a keynote speech from Peter Ludlow (Northwestern University) entitled ‘Virtual Communities, Virtual Cultures, Virtual Governance.’ Conference delegates also had the opportunity to meet Peter at the Second Life Cocktail Bar.

There were two other papers on Monday’s session Adam Brown’s (Deakin University): ‘Beyond ‘Good’ and ‘Evil’: Breaking Down Binary Oppositions in Holocaust Representations of ‘Privileged’ Jews’ and ‘A Hybrid Model of Moral Panics: Synthesizing the Theory and Practice of Moral Panic Research’ presented by Brian V. Klocke (State University of New York, Plattsburgh) & Glenn Muschert (Miami University).

In addition Wiley-Blackwell’s Vanessa Lafaye held a publishing workshop entitled ‘The Secret to Online Publishing Success.’ As you can see, this week promises to be as exciting and innovative as the previous one. All of the papers and workshops from last week are still available to download from the conference site, and both the ‘battle of the bands’ and the opportunity to contribute a ‘winning comment’ remain.

Virtual Conference Report: Day Three (21 Oct, 2009)

by paulabowles UBoulderLibrary_spittoon

Today’s papers have focused once more on the key motifs of the conference, that of breaking down borders and indisciplinarity. Nancy Naples (University of Connecticut) uses her paper: ‘Borderlands Studies and Border Theory: Linking Activism and Scholarship for Social Justice’ to highlight just some of the difficulties faced when ‘negotiate[ing] different disciplinary frames, methods, and theoretical assumptions in order to move forward toward collaborative problem solving’.

The second paper today entitled ‘Theorizing Borders in a ‘Borderless World’: Globalization, Territory and Identity’ was presented by Alexander Diener (Pepperdine University) and Joshua Hagen (Marshall University). The authors question the assumption that world is becoming increasingly borderless, instead suggesting that state borders continue to ‘remain one of the most basic and visible features of the international system.’

Finally, Kivmars Bowling (Wiley-Blackwell) has presented a particularly relevant publishing workshop entitled ‘The Online Author’s Survival Guide’. The daily book prize was awarded to Maeve O’Donovan for her comment on David Crystal’s keynote lecture and the conference day ended in the Second Life cocktail bar.

In defence of theory

theory as drug
theory as drug

A recent article for frieze by Simon Reynolds defends the importance of theory in discussions of music. Several issues raised by this:

1. The fact that writers such as Reynolds feel the need to jump to its defence is a symptom of the profound mistrust that large parts of society have of Theory, specifically critical/cultural theory, sometimes known as continental philosophy. Is this something that is growing or has it always been the case? Continue reading “In defence of theory”

When is a Law of Nature Broken?

“Century-Old Physics Law Violated” declares Steven Mirsky in a recent report for Scientific American. But, as any philosopher of science will tell you, the laws of nature cannot be violated. At least not in the actual world, where the MIT researchers conducted their experiments (as opposed to some merely possible world). They discovered that when two bodies are brought to within ten billionths of a meter, the heat conducted between them is over a thousand times more than Planck’s theory of blackbody radiation predicts. Does this show that there are exceptions to Planck’s law of blackbody radiation? No. In the first place, “Planck was very careful, saying his theory was only valid for large systems,” Continue reading “When is a Law of Nature Broken?”