Art, Physics, Philosophy

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Dialectics of contingency : Nietzsche's philosophy of art

Dialectics of contingency : Nietzsche's philosophy of art

Even in his earliest notes Nietzsche stresses the impossibility of neatly de­ lineating between mental and bodily functions. In an unpublished note from 1871 Nietzsche writes ‘What we call feelings are . . . already permeated and saturated with conscious and unconscious ideas’ (KSA 7 12[1] p. 364). Mental acts cannot be reduced to mere neuro-physiological activity, to the cathexis of so much energy; the mind cannot be seen as a bundle of nerve endings and nothing besides. For just as mental functions can be seen to originate in physiological impulses, so too neural stimuli have to be interpreted by an intellect in order to be recognised as such . It is moreover only the interpretative act that can give these stimuli the quality of mental processes. Perception of the colour green can be seen, within the vocabulary of be­ havioural psychology and physics as a reception of light waves of a particular fre­ quency, and this account does explain the physical, biological and neurological me­ chanics of vision. However, we do not ‘see’ light waves, we see green objects, and it is this peculiar quality of greenness that the scientific account cannot explain. Yet at the same time, one cannot neatly distinguish between the physiological and the phenomenological aspects of seeing green objects, as if an autonomous inner self could ‘choose’ to interpret external stimuli in a certain way. On these grounds alone Nietzsche finds Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason risible, as if one could isolate the workings of some pure rational essence, as if one could abstract the mental fi-om the material aspects of existence. This realisation is also proclaimed by Zarathustra, that ‘Behind your thoughts and feelings stands . . . an unknown sage -
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The art of being human : a project for general philosophy of science

The art of being human : a project for general philosophy of science

The decline of general philosophy of science can be traced to the influence of Thomas Kuhn on a generation of scholars, born around 1940, who started to become prominent in the history, philosophy and social studies of science in the late 1970s (Fuller 2000: chap. 6). Within ten years, a critical mass of these post-generalists was assembled at Stanford University, centred on Ian Hacking and Nancy Cartwright, and including such younger scholars as John Dupré and Peter Galison. Despite working in substantively different areas, they shared certain metatheoretic views: (a) anti-determinism and a more general scepticism about the reality of natural laws; (b) ontological pluralism as a pretext for methodological relativism and cross-disciplinary tolerance more generally; (c) a revival of interest in a localised sense of teleology and essentialism while renouncing more universalist versions of these doctrines; (d) a shift from physics to biology as the paradigmatic science and hence a shift in historiographical orientation from the Newton-to-Einstein to the Aristotle-to-Darwin trajectory; (e) a shift in empirical focus from the language of science to science’s non- linguistic practices; (f) an aversion to embracing a normative perspective that is distinct from, let alone in conflict with, that of the scientific practitioners under investigation.
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Between physics and art: Imaging the un image able

Between physics and art: Imaging the un image able

Special thanks to Jean Dalibard, Henning Schomerus, Gregory Ezra, Mark Dennis, Jonathan Keating, Jamie Hutchins, Brett Rubinstein and Tom Wilcox, for kindly providing testimonials used in the thesis and supporting material; as well as Robert Crease and Stephen Wiggins. I am extremely grateful to my employer, IOP Publishing for sponsoring my doctoral research, and for the support from current Managing Director Steven Hall (2010-), his predecessor, Jerry Cowhig (1995-2010), as well as Olaf Ernst (Commercial Director) and Nicola Gulley (Editorial Director). Special thanks to all of my friends and colleagues across the organisation for their interest and encouragement (too many names to cite everyone!). I am particularly indebted to Adrian Corrigan for proofreading all of my work throughout the research and for assisting in writing the scientific captions for my art practice, as well as Andrew Malloy and Lisa Gibson. Because of my limited knowledge in science at the level of expertise required to understand the wide-ranging content published by IOP, I have often sought explanation and advice from our publishers. I am particularly grateful to them for taking the time to discuss and explain scientific aspects, often with the added challenge of dealing with highly theoretical and obscure articles that I selected on numerous occasions. In particular, many thanks to Tim Smith, Antigoni Messaritaki, Lucy Smith, Christopher Wileman and Alex Wotherspoon. Special thanks to my Art Director, Andrew Giaquinto, for his valuable advice, and for his unconditional support and patience during the time of my studies. I would like to acknowledge Andrew as an exceptional Art Director who I have been very fortunate to work with and learn from over the years. Andrew has been passing on and cascading down his design expertise after working closely with Swiss-German Creative Director Roland Schenk at Haymarket publishing, London (1979-1996), advocating for a strong design philosophy that defies trends and times, rooted in the legacy of the Bauhaus and the Swiss Rational Design. Andrew and I share a passion for graphic design and we have been fortunate to be working for an organisation that has enabled us to develop what has now become a distinctive design practice in the sector of STM publishing, not traditionally known for a strong design culture.
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Philosophy and Aesthetic: To Begin with the Case of  Western Postmodern Art

Philosophy and Aesthetic: To Begin with the Case of Western Postmodern Art

the great writer Camus has left incisive comments that “Emptiness is filled with power”. Thanks to his words, people begin to understand this work of art. In reality, we may say that the hearts of Zhuangzi and Camus have a common beat when the former said that “the empty apartment is filled with light through it”, and “Grudges are likely to develop between a mother and her daughter-in-law if there is no emptiness in an apartment”, and when the latter made the comments, an excellent interpretation of Klein’s work. A philosophical dis- cussion of the postmodern work of art Emptiness may well be- come the philosophy of Laozi and Zhuangzi. Why is Zhuang- zi’s philosophy or that of Chinese Daoism so similar to western postmodern art? The reason is that both of them stress the realm of life and uphold the beauty of life, mind and spirit, the core of which is to break down limits and enhance communication and free creation, therefore it is not visual or perceptive beauty. The beauty of art and philosophy is thus combined. The difference lies in the fact that they are products of different times and national traditions: postmodern art is post-scientific culture in the west, while the Daoist philosophy pre-scientific culture in China. Postmodern art is a reaction to and criticism of the supremacy of reason and science, a modern view in the west which simply stresses definition and analysis; on the other hand, due to inflexibility and solidification of the tradition, post- modern art failed to free itself from the thinking mode of strict division and separation, hence going from one extreme to the other. That is to say, modern art claims separation of art from life and dominion of art, on the contrary, postmodern art (art of actions or bodies) claims to reject art and beauty; modern art stresses visual and perceptive beauty, while postmodern art refuses both altogether, stressing thought and realm of life so much so that it called painters to give up painting. The watchword of postmodern artists is to “blur” the distinction between art and life, a view that intended to oppose the traditional thinking mode; as a matter of fact, however, it separates life from art and mental beauty from visual beauty, falling into the set pattern of traditional thought. This is the origin of some unconventional works of life and of actions purposely designed by postmodern artists. I think it is a big mistake with western postmodern art when it absolutely opposed visual and perceptive beauty to that of mind and life.
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Philosophy of Imitation and the Implications of Modernization in Arabic Calligraphy Art

Philosophy of Imitation and the Implications of Modernization in Arabic Calligraphy Art

Traditions represent dealing with the values and morals and they can be seen as means to organize the communication in the social environment of the human society. Traditions originated from the need of human beings for discipline in their social life (Ismail, 2002). Accordingly dealing with traditions can be seen in two forms, the first version is the imitation ans the second version is the simulation. When referring to liberal traditions and conservative traditions, two different opinions seemed to characterize them. Te first one deals with the simulation which allows adaptation with changing situations, hence contributes in creating different art works and architectural forms that reflect the immense changes through human history (Al Bustany, 2001).
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Friedrich Nietzsche's contribution to the philosophy of art: A critical examination

Friedrich Nietzsche's contribution to the philosophy of art: A critical examination

Every art, every pkilosopky may ke viewed as a remedy and as aid in tke service of growing and struggling life; tkey always presuppose suffering and sufferers. But tkere are two kinds of sufferers: first, tkose wko suffer from tke over-fullness of life - tkey want a Dionysian art and likewise a tragic view of life, a tragic insigkt - and tken tkose wko suffer from tke impoverishment of life and seek rest, stillness, calm seas, redemption from tkemselves tkrougk art and knowledge, or intoxication, convulsions, anaestkesia, and madness. All romanticism in art and insigkt corresponds to tke dual needs of tke latter type, and tkat include[s] . . . Rickard Wagner . . . wko 1 misunderstood at tke time . . . He tkat is rickest in tke fullness of life, tke Dionysian god and man, cannot only afford tke sigkt of tke terrikle and questionakle kut even tke terrikle deed and any luxury of destruction, decomposition, and negation. . . . Conversely, tkose wko suffer most and are poorest in Me would need akove all mildness, peacefulness, and goodness in tkougkt as well as deed . . . Regarding all aestketic values 1 now avail myself of tkis main distinction: 1 ask in every instance, ‘is it kunger or superakundance tkat kas kecome creative? . . . [For example], tke desire lot destruction, ckange, and kecoming can ke an expression of an overflowing energy tkat is pregnant witk future (my term for tkis is, as is known, ‘Dionysian’); kut it can also ke tke katred of tke ill-constituted, disinkerited, and underprivileged, wko destroy, must destroy, kecause wkat exists, indeed all existence, all keing, outrages and provokes tkem . . . Tke will to immortalise also requires a dual inte^retation. It can ke prompted, first, ky gratitude and love; art witk tkis origin will always ke an art of apotkeoses, perkaps ditkyramkic like Rukens, or klissfuUy mocking like Hafiz, or krigkt and gracious like Goetke . . . But it can also ke tke tyrarmic will of one wko suffers deeply, wko struggles, is tormented, and would like to turn wkat is most personal, singular and narrow, tke real idiosyncrasy of kis suffering, into a kinding law and compulsion . . . Tkis last version is romantic pessimism in its most expressive form, wketker it ke Sckopenkauer’s pkilosopky of will or Wagner’s music - romantic pessimism, tke last great event in tke fate of our culture.
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The Dynamics of Time and Timelessness: Philosophy, Physics and Prospects for our Life

The Dynamics of Time and Timelessness: Philosophy, Physics and Prospects for our Life

proper understanding of such "uncanny" space-times was demonstrated to require highly abstract geometrical concepts like projective planes over finite (Galois) fields [12-13], and/or Cremona transformations [14-15]. Moreover, not only the nature of a mental state seems to be related to a special mathematical space, but it is frequently reported that travel between the different spaces and times is possible by will. The question arises as which kind of factor regulates the 3+1 and higher dimensions. In the context that physics is based on the ultimate principle of least action, which is related somehow on a virtual transparency of the 3+1 dimensional space as a whole, we raise up the possibility that the higher dimensions are more related to the biological and spiritual principles besides of the physical principle.
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Development of the Artistic Supervision Model Scale (ASMS)

Development of the Artistic Supervision Model Scale (ASMS)

It can be said that the point of view of artistic approach towards teaching is influential in the emergence of the concept of artistic supervision. As Eisner (1983) points out, teaching is an art, and it does not always take place as previously designed. On the contrary, it depends on the circumstances. The precise rules about how teachers should teach lock up deactivate the teachers [Hopkins and Moore, 1993; cited in 4]. Because teachers' teaching style, the way they communicate with students, and their ability to use teaching methods and techniques is quite different, it can be said that these differences in teacher's style and communication skills are included in the focal points of the artistic supervision approach. In the artistic supervision approach, it helps to develop the skills related to language, speech, appealing and expressions used by teachers [32].
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Theoretical Equivalence in Classical Mechanics and its relationship to Duality

Theoretical Equivalence in Classical Mechanics and its relationship to Duality

In Section 3, we argue that Tulczyjew’s reformulation can be interpreted as establishing a theoret- ical equivalence between Hamiltonian and Lagrangian mechanics (CM-Equiv). Section 3.1 reviews the notion of Common Definitional Extension (CDE) which is often deployed in the philosophy of science literature as a criterion of theoretical equivalence. In Sections 3.2 and 3.3, we go on to discuss two ways in which Tulczyjew’s results can be interpreted as saying that Lagrangian and Hamiltonian mechanics have a CDE (these correspond to the two different notions of ‘theory’ – T1 and T2 – discussed in Section 2.1 below). Section 3.4 then discusses the relationship between (CM-Equiv) and various themes from category theory. In particular, we discuss how the Tulczyjew triple is natural in a category-theoretic sense and explain how this points to an analogy with the notion of Morita equivalence in ring theory.
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The Art of Physics

The Art of Physics

As somehow the world managed to avoid incineration, I entered graduate school at Cornell, eventually choosing to get my degree in elementary particle physics. Gradually I came to learn of the very effective efforts by Hans Bethe to provide the kind of information to our government that led to a significant de-escalation of the nuclear saber-rattling that had characterized the ‘50s. I also met a post-doc at that time, Frank von Hippel, who became a national security advisor to Bill Clinton. I think the world owes an enormous debt to such people both in our country and in the USSR that obtained the ear of responsible national leaders and defused a very dangerous situation. Sadly, I do not see any members of a younger generation willing and able to assume a similar role.
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RTD INFO March 2004 Special Edition

RTD INFO March 2004 Special Edition

T he outwardly simple mountain church of Santa Maria Maddalena at Rocca Pietore is decorated with frescoes and houses a very beautiful 16th-century carved wooden panel behind the altar. In winter, during church services, a ‘complete’ heating system is switched on and runs continuously for several hours. “This is an enormous waste of energy. The entire building is supposedly heated, but worshippers are cold and the art works suffer from variations in temperature and relative humidity,” explains Dario Camuffo, the Italian climatologist who is coor- dinating the Friendly Heating project. Santa Maria Maddalena is currently a pilot site where a team of European researchers is testing a radically different heating system – based on common sense. Heating is concen- trated uniquely on the space occupied by worshippers. Radiant heat and occasion- ally forced warm air are provided by low- temperature infra-red sources placed among the pews. An extraction system removes excess moisture from respiration. Over 80% of the heat remains concentrated in the first few metres of the nave, whereas previously 93% of the heated air was dispersed throughout the building.
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An argument in defence of scientific realism

An argument in defence of scientific realism

There is also one other undesired outcome for van Fraassen’s recourse to aj'-t/language. G.Rosen [1994] has produced a hermeneutic interpretation o f van Fraassen’s constructive empiricism. His main argument is that van Fraassen’s use of language has amounted to producing philosophical fictions or fictional ism in philosophy: "My thought, then, is that CE [constructive empiricism] is best seen as a fiction about science put forward not as true, but rather as adequate to phenom ena o f scientific activ ity .... Alternatively, we might say that in putting CE forward in this spirit the author asserts that science proceeds as if CE were a true description o f the intentions that underlie it ... This fictionalist reading o f constructive empiricism does justice both to the descriptive language of the texts and their probable falsity if taken literally. M uch of what van Fraassen says is profitably seen as an effort to make good the claim that science proceeds as if scientists had the intentions he describes - that science "makes sense" when interpreted as the search for empirically adequate theories. It also discloses a pleasing symmetry in van Fraassen’s larger view. Just as science is portrayed as an a s-if story about nature, so the author’s own philosophical remarks about science are to be taken as fictional assertions expressing a commitment to this theory as an adequate a s-if story about the intentional features of science, (pp. 153-54, italics in original, underline added.)
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3.    From Deleuze to Conceptual Art: on the Demystification of the Artistic Object and the Creative Process

3.    From Deleuze to Conceptual Art: on the Demystification of the Artistic Object and the Creative Process

This type of art does not focus on aesthetics; on the contrary, it questions all the prejudices of the artistic object, situating it in a tautological exercise, that is, art for art. This construction allows understandingofthe artistic object not only from a passive contemplation, but also invites the spectator to emerge within the reading, analysis and appreciation of the work in a more active way. The unfolding of the work- spectator relationship becomes almost a phenomenological exercise, where the work only exists when read, visualized and especially understood by the viewer, otherwise this type of manifestations would be only decontextualized objects of its conceptual message. That is why, as Guasch affirms, the idea ends up constructing together the notion of the concept within objects, this conceptual relationship is so strong in this type of art that it does not need a materialization to materialize, on the contrary, only needs the set of ideas and concepts to survive. Conceptual art transcends the materiality of the object, so that from the moment it is thought of, art becomes, according to Guasch, an active and almost creative phenomenon only present in the idea-concept relationship, and not from a technical, aesthetic and creative vision. Anterior and traditional plastic; allowing the creation of neologism as the case of the "anti-object art or anti-object art" (Guasch 165), being a fundamental point not only for the vision of Guasch but for Deleuze in the creative notion of language and art.
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Danceroom spectroscopy: At the frontiers of physics, performance, interactive art and technology

Danceroom spectroscopy: At the frontiers of physics, performance, interactive art and technology

With growing applications of computer science in both art and science, interactive technology increasingly offers a fascinating and non-traditional site for linking artists and scientists, and suggesting new ways to imagine the dynamism of the invisible world. This opens up an exciting horizon of future content: As nearly all of physics and much of chemistry is cast in terms of field equations, a robust algorithmic framework for realising humans as “fields” within scientifically rigorous simulations offers great potential to further explore the boundaries between aesthetic representation and scientific imagination. Possibilities for cross-fertilisation abound on this frontier, and where they will lead, is an open and exciting question.
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On Discrete Physics (Digital Philosophy/Digital Cosmology) and the Cellular Automaton: A Perfect Mathematical Deterministic Structure for Reality – as A Huge Computational Simulation

On Discrete Physics (Digital Philosophy/Digital Cosmology) and the Cellular Automaton: A Perfect Mathematical Deterministic Structure for Reality – as A Huge Computational Simulation

Richard Feynman in his famous paper [29], after discussing arguments regarding some of the main physical phenomena concluded that: all these things suggest that it's really true, somehow, that the physical world is representable in a discretized way. It is worth to note here also Einstein's view on continuous models of physics: I consider it quite possible that physics cannot be based on the field concept, i.e., on continuous structures. In that case nothing remains of my entire castle in the air gravitation theory included, -and of- the rest of modern physics [30].
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Concept, Sensation, Intensity: Deleuze's Theory of Art and Cinema

Concept, Sensation, Intensity: Deleuze's Theory of Art and Cinema

the highest form of speed (of the body and the spirit) (39). Deleuze’s theory of sensation does not follow the formalists or the Avant-garde closely. Yet, some aspects of those theoretical systems centered on linguistic and perceptive rupture pass through to his philosophy, in the individuation of the modes and the centrality of sensation. In order to have sensation, there must be an accelerated or slowed down movement, a departure from any neutral regime, an intensification of something, a passage from something to something else. There must be the vector of a force that produces a change in what is normally visible, introducing an otherness, an anomaly of some kind. A correlated difference, a variation that does not completely lose its similarity, can act more effectively on the level of sensation, because it grasps the force of the body, the force of the specific, unique, non-normal presence, within the symbolic horizon.
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Speaking Through Silence: Conceptual Art and Conversational Implicature

Speaking Through Silence: Conceptual Art and Conversational Implicature

A better response requires a more radical rethink. Perhaps conceptual artÕs specialness does not lie in its relation to the senses after all. One respect in which literary art is quite typical of art as traditionally conceived is in the importance of execution. It is not enough, to appreciate a work of literary art, that one grasp its central idea. That idea must be executed, and the details of execution will be crucial to the success or otherwise of the finished work. For a novel, for instance, knowing the mere outline of a plot, however original or intriguing, is hardly a sufficient basis for appreciating the work. With conceptual art, or so at least the suggestion goes, this is not so. The conception is the key, its execution largely irrelevant. If we wanted to work in slogans, we could say that the proposal is that conceptual artÕs distinctiveness is not that it fails to speak to the senses, but that its value lies entirely in the idea. Can we turn this slogan into a developed view?
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Intellectual history

Intellectual history

approaches to intellectual history that have been advanced by two very different schol- ars: Mark Bevir and Dominick LaCapra. Informed by post-analytic philosophy – and hence no easy read for historians unfamiliar with the philosophical discipline – Bevir's Logic of the History of Ideas, published in 1999, provides a normative second-order study of intellectual history and the human sciences in general, exploring key concepts of the field such as tradition, meaning and belief. As Bevir explained in one of the numer- ous debates on his book, the Logic may also be read as an attempt to put the approach of the Cambridge School on a surer philosophical footing. 39 Taking his cue from the philosophical strands of "holism", "postfoundationalism" and "folk psychology", and drawing on philosophies of mind, language and action as developed by Wittgenstein, Quine and Davidson, Bevir maintains that ideas cannot have any innate meanings but possess meaning only in relation to agents, which alone are able to provide the "back- ground theories" that lend meaning to ideas. Therefore, ideas only exist as beliefs, which historians are to ascribe to people while being governed by logical presump- tions in favour of sincere, conscious and rational beliefs – "rational" being defined as "consistent". These beliefs are, moreover, part of wider "webs of belief" which arise against the background of intellectual and social traditions. "Webs of belief" is one of the Logic's pivotal terms, one which Bevir borrows from Quine and Ullian's classic in- troduction to the study of rational belief, 40 and which is, in fact, at the heart of Bevir's
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A New Task for Philosophy of Science

A New Task for Philosophy of Science

This hierarchical version of aim-oriented empiricism provides a framework of relatively unproblematic assumptions and associated methods—aims and methods—at levels 7 and 6, accepted and adopted permanently, within which increasingly problematic aims and methods, as we go from level 5 to level 3, may be critically assessed, developed, and, we may hope, improved. At levels 5 to 3, that thesis is accepted which (a) best accords with the accepted thesis above it in the hierarchy and (b) supports, or promises to support, the most empirically progressive research programme at levels 1 and 2. Theses at levels 7 and 6 are, we may conjecture, true; as we descend from level 6 to level 3, we move from truth to falsity. The hierarchy concentrates criticism and attempts at improvement where they are likely to be most fruitful, low down in the hierarchy, and at the same time provides a fixed framework, at levels 7 and 6, that restricts ways in which theses, lower down in the hierarchy, can be modified to those ways likely to be most fruitful from the standpoint of progress in physics.
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The Philosophy of the Face and 20th Century Literature and Art

The Philosophy of the Face and 20th Century Literature and Art

We cannot hope to understand these strange beginnings of art unless we try to enter into the mind of the primitive peoples and find out what kind of experience it is which makes them think of pictures, not as something nice to look at, but as something powerful to use. I do not think it is really so difficult to recapture this feeling. All that is needed is the will to be absolutely honest with ourselves and see whether we, too, do not retain something of the ‘primitive’ in us. Instead of beginning with the Ice Age, let us begin with ourselves. Suppose we take a picture of our favorite champion from today’s paper - would we enjoy taking a needle and poking out the eyes? Would we feel as indifferent about it as if we poked a hole anywhere else in the paper? I do not think so. However well I know with my waking thoughts that what I do to his picture makes no difference to my friend or hero, I still feel a vague reluctance to harm it. Somewhere there remains the absurd feeling that what one does to the picture is done to the person it represents. Now, if I am right there, if this queer and unreasonable idea really survives, even among us, into the age of atomic power, it is perhaps less surprising that such ideas existed almost everywhere among the so-called primitive peoples. In all parts of the world medicine men or witches have tried to work magic in some such way - they have made little images of an enemy and have then pierced the heart of the wretched doll, or burnt it, and hoped that their enemy would suffer. (SA 41)
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