Closing observations By way of closing, I would like to offer a few final observations. In the world opening up at the interface between the social sciences and computation, where multi-agent systems MAS and virtual institutions are under construction, the conceptual structure is regulatory. That is, it guides the building of programmes. In ontological construction, the philosopher and the scientist can work side by side to build new tools and more precise ontologies, developing methods to evaluate them and to thrash out their fields of application. This simply means that the conditions for dialogue have shifted and that the discussion that did not happen at the time is now reopening.
As I mentioned earlier, we will see the computational ontologies of philosophy proliferating in the near future. Even so, it must be said that Ferrater did not take much notice of developments in artificial intelligence or in the science of computation.
Interestingly, the names of Herbert Simon, Alan Newell, Marvin Minsky, Ed Feigenbaum and John McCarthy did not figure in his dictionary of , perhaps because he did not actually view them as philosophers. Yet this is the line that, following on from the Dartmouth seminar of , laid the foundations for the construction and development of the cognitive revolution, artificial intelligence and, ultimately, the Internet. In knowledge engineering, ontologies are used to reduce the complexity of information management, classify information and facilitate both the connection to the user and the interoperability among languages and knowledge objects Simple Knowledge Organisation Systems, SKOS.
It was neither reducible to rules nor completely automatic.
Hermeneutics enabled him not to discard anything that had been formulated as philosophy; it operated like a rake to collect the most disparate and dissimilar philosophies, focusing on specific points of philosophical discourse. As a result, it was able to function as the preliminary conceptual schematisation needed for a computational ontology.
Addressing the last point, though, goes beyond the aim of this paper. Ed Lewis lent personal hardware to overcome an impossible time difference. This paper would not have seen the light of day if the Ferrater Mora Chair in Contemporary Thought, under the leadership of Josep Maria Terricabras, had not made available to researchers the extensive correspondence of the philosopher in digital form at the library of the University of Girona and had not given me permission to work with the material on reserve.
To all of these people, I give my thanks. Translation from Catalan by Joel Graham. Our answer must be particularly precise. Isms are like labels, but what do they label? What, exactly, lies beneath them? For if we insist upon some vague and general notion and ignore the fact that scholars and schools naturally classify isms according to their typical character, we fall short of a satisfactory answer. Further examination is needed and should determine the second level of our philosophical enquiry: by not playing the isms game we will be able to resist vague and self-serving systems of classification.
And in an examination of the dogmatist—sceptic divide, the particular isms we have chosen are also positions or theses which will become answers to the question of the possibility of certainty in knowledge. But if we wish to discover our personal position, the study of isms can help us determine that position and polish it to a fine glow, illuminating arguments that justify and defend it. We should also remember that while this exercise is innocent enough in itself, it can also lead us, as it did Narcissus, to being overly self-concerned1.
One of the ambiguities of all isms is that the positive or negative meaning that colours their names is hidden. Another is the ease with which we can doubt or simply not know whether the name of an ism was brought into being by those who espoused the doctrine or was coined later by others. The Cubists knew they were Cubists, so to speak, but the pre-Socratics clearly never enjoyed this collective knowledge of themselves3 and neither did the practitioners of the Renaissance.
A number of practical considerations for the study of any ism, therefore, would be the careful examination of the root of the term, the moment in which the term was first used, its most broadly accepted exponents, the clearest antitheses to it, the vicissitudes it has experienced in its passage through history and, finally, not only how convenient its use has become but how far it operates as a manner of label.
Black, Nieto Blanco, La filos-. For Antigonus of Carystus, its doctrine first emerged with Antiochus of Ascalon and the Stoics Panaetius of Rhodes — and Posidonius of Apamea —51 , and it culminated in the writings of Cicero — In modernity, Leibniz has been a repeatedly cited exponent and in the XIXth. Perfiles del pensamiento de J. Giner, E. Vardi, Oxford, , pp.
For the moment, however, one thing should be made clear: eclectics are selectors who choose details from opposing positions in order to answer questions and resolve debates. What remains to be seen, of course, is how exactly our selectors might cross the line to do this. But first, we need to find the visual gradient or vantage point that reveals where that line is drawn so we can oscillate between the two points and beat the isms at their own game, as it were.
A number of important questions must be also be asked about the direction in which our enquiry will move.
First, how can it travel from one position to another? Second, how might its diversity be explained? And third, what common ground is shared by the arguments that have been used when the two positions were the subject of debate and were themselves the result of a constructive dialogue between specific thinkers who were either affirmers or researchers?
What do we mean when we say that affirming is more primitive or original? The initially rather awkward-looking answer is that affirmations are original in their quality of being almost but not completely affirmations or else not really being affirmations at all. For example, today is Thursday 8 November Each of us got here a different way, either by taking a train or driving or walking, but all those ways worked fine, however sceptical we may be about the value of human knowledge. Furthermore, our constant experience of communication generally consists of successful rather than unsuccessful events.
Doubting or denying data from the natural world has to come after this first set of circumstances, whose constancy we — or I or you — modify that doubt or denial. The existence of the world and its unity is familiar to all men as the incontrovertible evidence by which the general thesis of natural attitude is named. In the exact way we describe it here, this primary or primitive truth holds that all men are potential interlocutors and immediately allows them to perform this role in a common world.
To return to my example of us here on this Thursday 8 November, when we saw or were told which room to come to we did not consciously classify this information as either knowledge or truth. Affirmation, then, is more primitive and more original than any mistrust, suspicion or relativist positing about the effectiveness or viability of affirming might be. In its original circumstances, affirmation is experienced as the basis for guiding acts which for the affirmation are possibilities rather than subjects and which affirmation therefore poses as such.
Husserl used it to identify the basic belief or certainty that validates all affirmations that have been determined. It denotes what is modified in affirmative positions that are supported by a clear enough modifier. Epistemological terms like evidentia clarity, illustration or representation derive from the handbooks of rhetorical figures that allow orators to say what they wish to say.
I will return to this below but here I only observe. The facticity of error. However far back our memory goes, acts of affirming mistakenly, misinterpreting or misunderstanding and the experience of being led astray or disappointed have always been part and parcel of the life we lead as we negotiate multiple realities, affirmations and human groups. It has always been so and we have invariably moved between the experience of being right and being wrong. The facticity of error is the idea that error is already here with us and that we do not need to posit its existence or conjure it up somehow because we have always had the experience of it.
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We only realize that we err, however, because the substance of a new affirmation invalidates an older one and causes us to look back and see our mistake. And so it is also true that the moment of our erring always exists in past time when we did not recognise it as such, in the memory of a moment when the alarm bell rang and one affirmation replaced another, and in our constant exercise of a primitive affirmation which guides us. It is quite true, as Maurice Merleau-Ponty observes, that when sensory perception hides from our eyes the presence of one particular thing, it reveals another So it is that the horizon offers us a constant stream of given presences: as we draw closer to the tree trunk on the beach, it reveals itself to be a rock and Merleau-Ponty argues that while we may have lost the trunk, we have actually gained the rock.
In purely logical terms, proposing that a thing cannot exist because at one point in the past it didn't exist, is fallacious and highly problematic. Idioms from "E poi…". Casanovas, I. Confidence in the movement that primitive affirmation constantly and repeatedly produces operates as a kind of indestructible substrate of all human experience. Estic desesperat! No en 1 tinc.
And if we lose the rock we will perceive something else in its place because the world always gives us something to perceive and to affirm. This is also very true of our constant experience of presence and affirmation, where we will always affirm before we refute. Everything depends on how severe the 10 R. If we were mistaken before but in no way imagined we were mistaken until the warning bell rang, who can be sure we are not always mistaken? And even if something else appeared in its place, would that not also disappear and would this process not continue indefinitely?
Error follows affirmation because in erring we experience the refutation of what we previously affirmed. The possibility of mediating between opposites: the collision of two forces. If the debate on the possibility of certainty in knowledge has any meaning in the philosophical tradition it is in the constancy of the collision between these two forces, which revitalizes the primary or original possibility of the philosophical life. The weakness of dogmatism is simply the facticity of error: if we can affirm and be guided by affirming, why is it that we occasionally err?