Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 3

Search results for: Gadamer

3 Squaring the Triangle: A Stumpian Solution to the Major Frictions that Exist between Pragmatism, Religion, and Moral Progress; Richard Bernstein, Cornel West, and Hans-Georg Gadamer Re-Examined

Authors: Martin Bloomfield

Abstract:

This paper examines frictions that lie at the heart of any pragmatist conception of religion and moral progress. I take moral progress to require the ability to correctly analyse social problems, provide workable solutions to these problems, and then rationally justify the analyses and solutions used. I take religion here to involve, as a minimal requirement, belief in the existence of God, a god, or gods, such that they are recognisable to most informed observers within the Western tradition. I take pragmatism to belong to, and borrow from, the philosophical traditions of non-absolutism, anti-realism, historicism, and voluntarism. For clarity, the relevant brands of each of these traditions will be examined during the paper. The friction identified in the title may be summed up as follows: those who, like Cornel West (and, when he was alive, Hilary Putnam), are theistic pragmatists with an interest in realising moral progress, have all been aware of a problem inherent in their positions. Assuming it can be argued that religion and moral progress are compatible, a non-absolutist, anti-realist, historicist position nevertheless raises problems that, as Leon Wieseltier pointed out, the pragmatist still believes in a God who isn’t real, and that the truth of any religious statement (including “God exists”) is relative not to any objective reality but to communities of engaged interlocutors; and that, where there are no absolute standards of right and wrong, any analysis of (and solution to) social problems can only be rationally justified relative to one or another community or moral and epistemic framework. Attempts made to universalise these frameworks, notably by Dewey, Gadamer, and Bernstein, through democracy and hermeneutics, fall into either a vicious and infinite regress, or (taking inspiration from Habermas) the problem of moral truths being decided through structures of power. The paper removes this friction by highlighting the work of Christian pragmatist Cornel West through the lens of the philosopher of religion Eleanore Stump. While West recognises that for the pragmatist, the correctness of any propositions about God or moral progress is impossible to rationally justify to any outside the religious, moral or epistemic framework of the speakers themselves without, as he calls it, a ‘locus of truth’ (which is itself free from the difficulties Dewey, Gadamer and Bernstein fall victim to), Stump identifies routes to knowledge which provide such a locus while avoiding the problems of relativism, power dynamics, and regress. She describes “Dominican” and “Franciscan” knowledge (roughly characterised as “propositional” and “non-propositional”), and uses this distinction to identify something Bernstein saw as missing from Gadamer: culture-independent norms, upon which universal agreement can be built. The “Franciscan knowledge” Stump identifies as key is second-personal knowledge of Christ. For West, this allows the knower to access vital culture-independent norms. If correct, instead of the classical view (religion is incompatible with pragmatism), Christianity becomes key to pragmatist knowledge and moral-knowledge claims. Rather than being undermined by pragmatism, Christianity enables pragmatists to make moral and epistemic claims, free from troubling power dynamics and cultural relativism.

Keywords: Cornel West, Cultural Relativism, Gadamer, Philosophy of Religion, Pragmatism

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2 A Phenomenological Framework of Unconscious Cognition on Judicial Decision Making

Authors: Mariam Shah

Abstract:

This paper will examine the potential influence and role of unconscious cognition on judicial decision making. The theoretical underpinnings of this paper rest on phenomenological theory grounded predominantly in Schutzian phenomenology. Aspects of Husserlian and Gadamerian phenomenology will be included within the phenomenological framework put forward in this paper, in an attempt to provide a more complete and thorough account of how unconscious cognition can influence judicial decision making. This paper has far reaching implications, as the framework provides a foundation for unconscious cognitive factors which can work to influence decision making more generally.

Keywords: decision making, Gadamer, Gadamerian, Husserl, Husserlian, judicial decision making, phenomenology, Schutz, Schutzian

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1 The Audiovisual Media as a Metacritical Ludicity Gesture in the Musical-Performatic and Scenic Works of Caetano Veloso and David Bowie

Authors: Paulo Da Silva Quadros

Abstract:

This work aims to point out comparative parameters between the artistic production of two exponents of the contemporary popular culture scene: Caetano Veloso (Brazil) and David Bowie (England). Both Caetano Veloso and David Bowie were pioneers in establishing an aesthetic game between various artistic expressions at the service of the music-visual scene, that is, the conceptual interconnections between several forms of aesthetic processes, such as fine arts, theatre, cinema, poetry, and literature. There are also correlations in their expressive attitudes of art, especially regarding the dialogue between the fields of art and politics (concern with respect to human rights, human dignity, racial issues, tolerance, gender issues, and sexuality, among others); the constant tension and cunning game between market, free expression and critical sense; the sophisticated, playful mechanisms of metalanguage and aesthetic metacritique. Fact is that both of them almost came to cooperate with each other in the 1970s when Caetano was in exile in England, and when both had at the same time the same music producer, who tried to bring them closer, noticing similar aesthetic qualities in both artistic works, which was later glimpsed by some music critics. Among many of the most influential issues in Caetano's and Bowie's game of artistic-aesthetic expression are, for example, the ideas advocated by the sensation of strangeness (Albert Camus), art as transcendence (Friedrich Nietzsche), the deconstruction and reconstruction of auratic reconfiguration of artistic signs (Walter Benjamin and Andy Warhol). For deepen more theoretical issues, the following authors will be used as supportive interpretative references: Hans-Georg Gadamer, Immanuel Kant, Friedrich Schiller, Johan Huizinga. In addition to the aesthetic meanings of Ars Ludens characteristics of the two artists, the following supporting references will be also added: the question of technique (Martin Heidegger), the logic of sense (Gilles Deleuze), art as an event and the sense of the gesture of art ( Maria Teresa Cruz), the society of spectacle (Guy Debord), Verarbeitung and Durcharbeitung (Sigmund Freud), the poetics of interpretation and the sign of relation (Cremilda Medina). The purpose of such interpretative references is to seek to understand, from a cultural reading perspective (cultural semiology), some significant elements in the dynamics of aesthetic and media interconnections of both artists, which made them as some of the most influential interlocutors in contemporary music aesthetic thought, as a playful vivid experience of life and art.

Keywords: Caetano Veloso, David Bowie, music aesthetics, symbolic playfulness, cultural reading

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