Commenced in January 2007
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Search results for: Descartes

2 Close-Reading Works of Art and the Ideal of Naïveté: Elements of an Anti-Cartesian Approach to Humanistic Liberal Education

Authors: Peter Hajnal

Abstract:

The need to combine serious training in disciplinary/scholarly approaches to problems of general significance with an educational experience that engages students with these very same problems on a personal level is one of the key challenges facing modern liberal education in the West. The typical approach to synthesizing these two goals, one highly abstract, the other elusively practical, proceeds by invoking ideals traditionally associated with Enlightenment and 19th century “humanism”. These ideas are in turn rooted in an approach to reality codified by Cartesianism and the rise of modern science. Articulating this connection of the modern humanist tradition with Cartesianism allows for demonstrating how the central problem of modern liberal education is rooted in the strict separation of knowledge and personal experience inherent in the dualism of Descartes. The question about the shape of contemporary liberal education is, therefore, the same as asking whether an anti-Cartesian version of liberal education is possible at all. Although the formulation of a general answer to this question is a tall order (whether in abstract or practical terms), and might take different forms (nota bene in Eastern and Western contexts), a key inspiration may be provided by a certain shift of attitude towards the Cartesian conception of the relationship of knowledge and experience required by discussion based close-reading of works of visual art. Taking the work of Stanley Cavell as its central inspiration, my paper argues that this shift of attitude in question is best described as a form of “second naïveté”, and that it provides a useful model of conceptualizing in more concrete terms the appeal for such a “second naïveté” expressed in recent writings on the role of various disciplines in organizing learning by philosophers of such diverse backgrounds and interests as Hilary Putnam and Bruno Latour. The adoption of naïveté so identified as an educational ideal may be seen as a key instrument in thinking of the educational context as itself a medium of synthesis of the contemplative and the practical. Moreover, it is helpful in overcoming the bad dilemma of ideological vs. conservative approaches to liberal education, as well as in correcting a certain commonly held false view of the historical roots of liberal education in the Renaissance, which turns out to offer much more of a sui generis approach to practice rather than represent a mere precursor to the Cartesian conception.

Keywords: liberal arts, philosophy, education, Descartes, naivete

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1 Discontinuous Spacetime with Vacuum Holes as Explanation for Gravitation, Quantum Mechanics and Teleportation

Authors: Constantin Z. Leshan

Abstract:

Hole Vacuum theory is based on discontinuous spacetime that contains vacuum holes. Vacuum holes can explain gravitation, some laws of quantum mechanics and allow teleportation of matter. All massive bodies emit a flux of holes which curve the spacetime; if we increase the concentration of holes, it leads to length contraction and time dilation because the holes do not have the properties of extension and duration. In the limited case when space consists of holes only, the distance between every two points is equal to zero and time stops - outside of the Universe, the extension and duration properties do not exist. For this reason, the vacuum hole is the only particle in physics capable of describing gravitation using its own properties only. All microscopic particles must 'jump' continually and 'vibrate' due to the appearance of holes (impassable microscopic 'walls' in space), and it is the cause of the quantum behavior. Vacuum holes can explain the entanglement, non-locality, wave properties of matter, tunneling, uncertainty principle and so on. Particles do not have trajectories because spacetime is discontinuous and has impassable microscopic 'walls' due to the simple mechanical motion is impossible at small scale distances; it is impossible to 'trace' a straight line in the discontinuous spacetime because it contains the impassable holes. Spacetime 'boils' continually due to the appearance of the vacuum holes. For teleportation to be possible, we must send a body outside of the Universe by enveloping it with a closed surface consisting of vacuum holes. Since a material body cannot exist outside of the Universe, it reappears instantaneously in a random point of the Universe. Since a body disappears in one volume and reappears in another random volume without traversing the physical space between them, such a transportation method can be called teleportation (or Hole Teleportation). It is shown that Hole Teleportation does not violate causality and special relativity due to its random nature and other properties. Although Hole Teleportation has a random nature, it can be used for colonization of extrasolar planets by the help of the method called 'random jumps': after a large number of random teleportation jumps, there is a probability that the spaceship may appear near a habitable planet. We can create vacuum holes experimentally using the method proposed by Descartes: we must remove a body from the vessel without permitting another body to occupy this volume.

Keywords: border of the Universe, causality violation, perfect isolation, quantum jumps

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