In the reception of Josef Mitterer’s writings up to now, there are two predominant types of motifs: the radical constructivist background of his philosophy and the ontological and epistemological foundations and consequences of non-dualism. The critics are focused rather on some problematic consequences of non-dualism, ranging from the problem of infinite regress up to the thesis assuming that Mitterer’s philosophy presupposes a world reduced to descriptions. However, these two types of readings are founded on dualizing assumptions which are not coherent with non-dualism. \\Thus, in the present paper I interpret non-dualism in the frame of non-dual-ism, based on non-dualizing assumptions. I argue that non-dualism is a rhetorical project resulting in far-reaching consequences in the field of academic and scientific debates, poetics and practice of negotiations and deliberations, as well as in ordinary discourse. Non-dualism fulfills Richard Rorty’s dream of culture as a never-ending conversation in which the argument of power is successfully replaced by the power of argument. Mitterer makes transparent the rhetorical techniques performed in the dualizing discourse (not only in situations of conflict) in order to present an alternative – the non-dualizing mode of discourse. Mitterer’s philosophy – reread in the context of Rorty’s pragmatism, Foucault’s conception of discourses, Perelman’s new rhetoric – offers the new vocabulary (in Rorty’s meaning) which may change the practice of speaking
This article, in the form of a dialogue between a poet and a family therapist, attempts to create a context for the emergence of a ‘Dostoyevskian dialogue’ wherein all voices may be heard and no final authoratative voice exists. This form is contrasted with autonomous monologue, Batesonian metalogue, self-refuting negate-alogues, and Socratic dialogue. Particular attention is paid to the ongoing dialogue between family therapists and neurobiologists. A critique is made of the passive acceptance by therapists of the neurobiologists’ pre-emptive prescriptions regarding how one must interact with their dialogues which become, in effect, repetitive rhetoric.
It is argued that the difference in the rhetoric used by Russian presidents in their annual addresses and American presidents in their inauguration speeches reflects the difference between the Russian and American societies viewed as living systems in the theoretical framework of the biology of cognition. Relevance: The biology of cognition principles are applied in analyzing rhetoric as a reflection of orientational values in different societies as living systems.
[opening paragraph]: That human orientation to the world uses signs, indeed is bound up with signs, has been known and discussed since antiquity. The concept of the sign was first and foremost supported by a certain familiarity: that signs abound in the world was considered common sense. The word “sign” thus designated something that realizes a certain mode of being – an essence – in Being. More precisely, signs serve to make intelligible what is not in itself observable. This is reflected, for example, in the medical usage of the terms semeion and signum. Therefore, signs could be distinguished from other sorts of things and investigated in their specificity. Rhetoric, for instance, distinguished between verba (words) and res (things). This consequently led to a sub-ontology of sign-using beings and, in this context, to an ontology of language. Both knowing names and giving names was thought to require a certain artistry – in particular, a knowledge of the nature of things. And the same holds for writing.
It is usually assumed that the ‘social construction’ metaphor has one key meaning that is well understood across social studies of science. But a look at some of the texts that were, and are, central to introducing and defining `social construction’ in science studies shows that there are widely varying uses of the metaphor: processes of construction differ with the types of objects that can be constructed. This paper identifies four prominent interpretations that have led to interesting insights and discussions. Though these different social constructions have generally been fused together in science studies, they are easily separable, and should be separated, since they are not equally tenable. In particular, `neo-Kantian’ or `idealist’ constructivism has weak arguments supporting it and, contrary to the standard rhetoric, is the least important of these different constructivisms to most of the actual work done in social studies of science.
Except in very poor mathematical contexts, mathematical arguments do not stand in isolation of other mathematical arguments. Rather, they form trains of formal and informal arguments, adding up to interconnected theorems, theories and eventually entire fields. This paper critically comments on some common views on the relation between formal and informal mathematical arguments, most particularly applications of Toulmin’s argumentation model, and launches a number of alternative ideas of presentation inviting the contextualization of pieces of mathematical reasoning within encompassing bodies of explicit and implicit, formal and informal background knowledge.
Context: The short history of the reception of the philosophy of non-dualism in science is a history of misunderstandings and cursory reception – the latter especially concerns Mitterer’s main work Das Jenseits der Philosophie (The Beyond of Philosophy, which still has not been translated into English). Non-dualism so far is mostly seen either as a kind of constructivism replacing the rhetoric of “construction” with a rhetoric of “description” or as an overall philosophical critique of the use of dualisms, dichotomies or polarities in epistemological contexts. The core arguments of non-dualism are often completely ignored. This paper wishes to discuss them precisely and draw some conclusions. Approach: Close critical reading of Mitterer’s texts, trying to avoid as many translation gaps as possible. Findings: Non-dualism reveals the infinite regress of classical philosophy of language: the categorical differentiation between language and the world leads to a systematic contradiction. While non-dualism also helps to deconstruct the pretension to speak “about reality” or to claim that “in fact” something is the case in everyday life, non-dualism refrains from giving satisfying answers to the great questions of mankind in the “metaphysical” context: questions of starting points/origins, meanings, causes, and the (implicitness of the) time arrow. Benefits: The intention of this paper is to stimulate a broader discussion – so far limited by language – extending it beyond German and Polish scientific circles.