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Full-Text Articles in Philosophy

Sylvester: Ushering In The Modern Era Of Research On Odd Perfect Numbers, Steven Gimbel, John Jaroma Oct 2003

Sylvester: Ushering In The Modern Era Of Research On Odd Perfect Numbers, Steven Gimbel, John Jaroma

Philosophy Faculty Publications

In 1888, James Joseph Sylvester (1814-1897) published a series of papers that he hoped would pave the way for a general proof of the nonexistence of an odd perfect number (OPN). Seemingly unaware that more than fifty years earlier Benjamin Peirce had proved that an odd perfect number must have at least four distinct prime divisors, Sylvester began his fundamental assault on the problem by establishing the same result. Later that same year, he strengthened his conclusion to five. These findings would help to mark the beginning of the modern era of research on odd perfect numbers. Sylvester's bound ...


Kinds Of Pragmatism, Albert Borgmann Oct 2003

Kinds Of Pragmatism, Albert Borgmann

Philosophy Faculty Publications

It is hard to appreciate now what a liberating and invigorating force John Dewey's philosophy must have been. He did away with imperious dichotomies and absolutes, reconnected philosophy with the sciences, confronted technological revolutions, attended to the perils


The Headaches And Pleasures Of General Education, Albert Borgmann Apr 2003

The Headaches And Pleasures Of General Education, Albert Borgmann

Philosophy Faculty Publications

General education is one of the glories of American higher education; it is one of its major headaches as well. The concern for general education highlights some of the distinctive virtues of American universities and colleges. First it illustrates the ability to be open to different traditions and to forge them into something new. Liberal education, the older and still widely used term for general education, is the bequest of British higher education where it was taught to an elite of young gentlemen, destined for careers in politics and the professions. The notion of the well‐rounded gentleman in turn ...


Book Review: Culture, Ideology And Society, Rory J. Conces Jan 2003

Book Review: Culture, Ideology And Society, Rory J. Conces

Philosophy Faculty Publications

Fatos Tarifa’s Culture, Ideology and Society was my companion on a recent trip to the Balkans. Having read and reviewed one of his other books, The Quest for Legitimacy and the Withering Away of Utopia, I thought Culture, Ideology and Society would not only offer a glimpse of how a social scientist turned enlightened diplomat examines the lenses through which sociologists, philosophers, and film makers look at the world, but also some insight into the categories and concepts that are useful in better understanding the Balkans. I believe the book was somewhat successful at doing both.


Against The "Ordinary Summing" Test For Convergence, G. C. Goddu Jan 2003

Against The "Ordinary Summing" Test For Convergence, G. C. Goddu

Philosophy Faculty Publications

One popular test for distinguishing linked and convergent argument structures is Robert Yanal's Ordinary Summing Test. Douglas Walton, in his comprehensive survey of possible candidates for the linked/convergent distinction, advocates a particular version of Yanal's test. In a recent article, Alexander Tyaglo proposes to generalize and verify Yanal's algorithm for convergent arguments, the basis for Yanal's Ordinary Summing Test. In this paper I will argue that Yanal's ordinary summing equation does not demarcate convergence and so his Ordinary Summing Test fails. Hence, despite Walton's recommendation or Tyaglo's generalization, the Ordinary Summing Test ...


Sebastian Rand Review Of John Maccumber, Time In The Ditch : American Philosophy And The Mccarthy Era Northwestern, University Press, 2001, 213 P, Sebastian Rand Jan 2003

Sebastian Rand Review Of John Maccumber, Time In The Ditch : American Philosophy And The Mccarthy Era Northwestern, University Press, 2001, 213 P, Sebastian Rand

Philosophy Faculty Publications

No abstract provided.


Foucault's Political Spirituality, Ladelle Mcwhorter Jan 2003

Foucault's Political Spirituality, Ladelle Mcwhorter

Philosophy Faculty Publications

Recently, while rereading some material in The Essential Works of Foucault, I came upon a passage that pulled me up short and then sent me flying from my English translation to the French original. The passage, from an interview in May, 1978, contains one of Foucault’s infamous attempts to sum up his life’s work. It starts with the assertion that “since the beginning,” Foucault has been asking himself a certain question: “What is history, given that there is continually being produced within it a separation of true and false?” He elaborates, then, expanding that question into four sub-questions ...


Subjecting Dasein, Ladelle Mcwhorter Jan 2003

Subjecting Dasein, Ladelle Mcwhorter

Philosophy Faculty Publications

"Das 'Subjekt' ist eine Fiktion," Nietzsche declares in aphorism 370 of Der Wille zur Macht. There is no such thing as an ego, a unitary center of personhood that can be appraised and approved for its virtue and wisdom or blamed for its premeditated transgressions and irresponsible beliefs. Subjectivity does not exist. Despite Nietzsche's pervasive influence, however, the question of subjectivity - the ontological nature, the ethical status, and the epistemological significance of the human subject - has been a preeminent theme in Continental philosophy for the entirety of the twentieth century. Virtually all Conti­nental philosophers have found it necessary ...


Ariadne's Thread: Walter Benjamin's Hashish Passages, Gary Shapiro Jan 2003

Ariadne's Thread: Walter Benjamin's Hashish Passages, Gary Shapiro

Philosophy Faculty Publications

In a letter of 1932 to Gershom Scholem, Benjamin outlines his literary ambitions; he plans four major books, one of which would have been on hashish. The others were to include the Passagenwerk, his essays on literature, and his letters. It could be said that we now have those three books, if only in the form of sprawling and gigantic ruins. The Passagenwerk has been the object of many inspired and yet hopeless projects of reconstruction; the literary essays are available in German and other languages; and letters from throughout his life have been collected and published. All can be ...


Despair, Liberation, And Everyday Life: Two Bundle Views Of Personal Identity, Kathy Behrendt Jan 2003

Despair, Liberation, And Everyday Life: Two Bundle Views Of Personal Identity, Kathy Behrendt

Philosophy Faculty Publications

This paper, intended for general readership, discusses the real-life effects that personal identity theory either has had or has apparently failed to have upon two philosophers: David Hume and Derek Parfit. Both arrive at similar and quite radical beliefs about personal identity. And both have documented the difficulty of sustaining these beliefs in their day-to-day lives. For those considering embarking upon philosophical study – whether formally or not – this last point may seem discouraging, reinforcing a picture of a discipline that even on the admission of its own practitioners has little impact on everyday life or concerns. I explore these two ...


From Marxism-Leninism To Ethnicity: The Sideslips Of Ethiopian Elitism, Messay Kebede Jan 2003

From Marxism-Leninism To Ethnicity: The Sideslips Of Ethiopian Elitism, Messay Kebede

Philosophy Faculty Publications

For many scholars, colonialism and neocolonial policies remain the root causes of Africa's numerous impediments to its progress, ranging from the persistence of poverty to the ravages of ethnic conflicts. However, the number of scholars who prefer to ascribe these impediments essentially to the persistence of traditional views and methods and to the lack of reforms radical enough to trigger a sustained process of modernization is not negligible. My position contests this either-or debate and identifies the culprit as the rise of African elitism—a phenomenon implicating the specific effect of colonialism in conjunction with internal African contributions. I ...