DepositPhilosophy of mental time — A theme introduction

(First paragraphs.) — The notion of “mental time” refers to the experience and awareness of time, including that of past, present, and future, and that of the passing of time. This experience and awareness of time raises a number of puzzling questions. How do we experience time? What exactly do we experience when we experience time? Do we actually experience time? Or do we infer time from something in, or some aspect of our experience? And so forth. These and many related questions in the “philosophy of mental time”, the topic of this special issue of the Annals of the Japan Association for Philosophy of Science, are not purely philosophical questions. Or at least, they are not likely to be satisfactorily answered by philosophers alone. Rather, they also need the input of neuroscientists, psychologists, physicists, linguists, and others. And conversely, answers to these questions may have implications outside the scope of philosophy. The papers in this special issue illustrate this inherent multi- or interdisciplinarity of the philosophy and science of mental time. In this theme introduction, we want to give a few more examples to illustrate this interdisciplinarity, but also to point out that much of the field is still wide open—that is, these illustrations raise more questions than answers.

DepositTrading Consequences: A Case Study of Combining Text Mining and Visualization to Facilitate Document Exploration

Large-scale digitization efforts and the availability of computational methods, including text mining and information visualization, have enabled new approaches to historical research. However, we lack case studies of how these methods can be applied in practice and what their potential impact may be. Trading Consequences is an interdisciplinary research project between environmental historians, computational linguists, and visualization specialists. It combines text mining and information visualization alongside traditional research methods in environmental history to explore commodity trade in the 19th century from a global perspective. Along with a unique data corpus, this project developed three visual interfaces to enable the exploration and analysis of four historical document collections, consisting of approximately 200,000 documents and 11 million pages related to commodity trading. In this article, we discuss the potential and limitations of our approach based on feedback from historians we elicited over the course of this project. Informing the design of such tools in the larger context of digital humanities projects, our findings show that visualization-based interfaces are a valuable starting point to large-scale explorations in historical research. Besides providing multiple visual perspectives on the document collection to highlight general patterns, it is important to provide a context in which these patterns occur and offer analytical tools for more in-depth investigations.

DepositLocal Landscapes, Global Cinemascapes, and the New Galician Documentary

This essay analyzes recent experimental documentaries by Lois Patiño and Xurxo González (aka Xurxo Chirro) within the context of the Novo Cinema Galego, its digital modes of production, its geographical aesthetics, and the ways in which it visualizes ever-evolving notions of Galician identity and point of view. While these directors’ films problematize formal barriers, boundaries, and distinctions, they also draw special attention to national and regional geographies, cultures, identities, languages, in order to make the Galician Worldview visible onscreen. Paisaxes locais, cinemascapes globais e o novo documental galego Resumo: Este ensaio analiza os recentes documentais experimentais de Lois Patiño e Xurxo González (tamén coñecido como Xurxo Chirro) dentro do contexto do Novo Cinema Galego, os seus modos dixitais de produción, a súa estética xeográfca e as maneiras nas que visualiza as nocións, en evolución constante, de identidade e punto de vista galegos. Os filmes destes directores, ao tempo que problematizan barreiras, divisións e diferenzas formais, tamén chaman a atención sobre xeografías nacionais e rexionais, culturas, identidades e linguas, a fin de faceren visíbel a cosmovisión galega na pantalla.

DepositPerceiving External Things and the Time-Lag Argument

We seem to directly perceive external things. But can we? According to the time‐lag argument, we cannot. What we directly perceive happens now. There is a time‐lag between our perceptions and the external things we seem to directly perceive; these external things happen in the past; thus, what we directly perceive must be something else, for example, sense‐data, and we can only at best indirectly perceive other things. This paper examines the time‐lag argument given contemporary metaphysics. I argue that this argument is not as compelling as it may initially seem. First, it denies that what we directly perceive can ever be what it seems to be; second, it conflicts with the current physical conception of time, relativity theory. This latter point leads to a more general one: the argument’s force depends on a particular metaphysical conception on time, presentism, which is controversial in contemporary metaphysics of time. Given the alternative conception, eternalism, the argument is much less compelling. The overall argument of this paper, then, is that, if one wishes to hold that we directly perceive external things, we should subscribe to the latter view of time, i.e., eternalism.

DepositVisigothic Architecture – How did Visigoth churches get to Ireland from Iberia?

How do cultural influences travel from place to place? It is sometimes easy to trace these lines of influence in the modern era, but how did this process work in the past? Looking at the past, how can we decipher which elements of architecture or music or literature came from which sub-culture? In her dissertation, the author looks closely at churches of the 9th century and finds that the architectural styles we have thought of as Anglo Saxon may actually be Visigoth. She cites a tiny Celtic colony called Britonia, located in the Galician region of what is now Spain, as a vehicle or agent for the transmission of Visigoth architecture to England. The connections among these far-flung church structures indicate that, while it is easier for us to consider “English” history and “Spanish” history as separate, it was in some ways a single interconnected medieval world. Elsewhere in the dissertation, the author points out that for many centuries in many cultures, “architecture” meant principally church architecture. You and I may take it for granted that all ancient churches are designed in more or less the same layout, but Prof. Higgs lays out a timeline of progression for each element of church architecture — It is also interesting how the content of the church service influenced the church’s design. As often happens, you cannot fully appreciate a single field of study without understanding several others – in this case, the spread of Christianity is linked with the spread of architecture.

DepositCanadian Utopia: Communal Approach to Digital Scholarship

This talk operates on the assumption that critique is important, but acts of imagination and possibility are necessary now more than ever, both in the academy and society more broadly. Inspired by Frederic Jameson reimagining utopia, I am responding to Gaudry and Lorenz’s call to envision a socially just Canadian academy beyond mechanisms of inclusion (2018). Recognizing contemporary debates of indigenization of academic spaces and programs in Canada, I am interested in adopting the ideas of a resurgence-based decolonial indigenization as an opportunity to apply the benefits of balanced power relations to all learners. From this starting point, I explore the digital scholarship centre as a site for putting into practice Ranciere’s theories of radical intellectual equality and a commitment to intellectual liberation. I also draw on Leanne Betasamosake Simpson’s idea of land as pedagogy as a frame to reconsider knowledge creation and dissemination. My goal with this presentation is to create a space to ask the following questions: What should be the role of the academy in a society where the material conditions of its members have been met and the fundamental relationship is not based on exchange? Can the digital scholarship centre model non-oppressive organization approaches in the context of a research and learning institution? Digital scholarship centres, much like makerspaces in public libraries, have the potential to embody a commitment to public humanities. However, the very definition of the public good and disciplinarity will require an epistemological reframing in such a proposed utopian context.

DepositChurch, State, and Marriage: Four Early Modern Protestant Models

This Article analyzes four early modern Protestant models of marriage that emerged in place of the medieval Catholic sacramental model. These are the Lutheran social model of marriage in Germany and Scandinavia, the Calvinist covenantal model in Geneva, France, the Netherlands, and Scotland, the Anglican commonwealth model in England and its colonies, and the budding separationist model of marriage developed by John Locke. Theologically, the differences between these models can be traced to medieval Catholic sacramental theology, Lutheran two kingdoms doctrines, Calvinist covenantal constructions, Anglican commonwealth theory, and Lockean contractarian theories, respectively. Politically, these differences can be seen in shifts in marital jurisdiction: Medieval Catholics vested exclusive marital jurisdiction in the church. Anglicans left marital jurisdiction to church courts, subject to royal oversight and Parliamentary legislation. Calvinists assigned interlocking marital roles to local consistories and city councils. Lutherans consigned primary marital jurisdiction to the territorial prince or urban council. Locke pressed for a sharper separation of church and state in the governance of marriage. The Article concludes with a brief reflection of the implications of these early modern teachings, especially Locke’s, for modern contests over church, state, and family.

DepositJudging Architecture

One of the perennial problems in aesthetics is the justification of normative judgments. How can we support the claim that a painting in a new and unfamiliar style is beautiful rather than bizarre, an action noble rather than base, or a public building that does not honor the classical convention of monumentality or the modern one of individuality nonetheless a great work? To assess the value of objects or situations that are qualitative and unique seems for many a thoroughly nonrational process. Must such assessments, whether of moral worth or guilt or of aesthetic value rely on an intuitive sense of what is good, right, or beautiful? Must they rest on feeling, which may be the same thing? Principles are necessarily general and cannot respond to the peculiarities of individual circumstances and, when they are imposed on unique conditions, often offend by their hard-hearted indifference to consequences or their expedient disregard of the full range of their effects. And in cases of aesthetic judgment, ideology, whether political, social, or artistic, can do violence to both creativity and originality. What alternative is left? If we mistrust feeling and intuition as inveterately personal and thus not transferable to others, and principles as impossibly abstract and thus impervious to unique particularities, only a toss-up seems to be left. End of question. End of question? Not so, for architectural competitions proliferate and decisions have to be made, if not by aesthetic criteria then by political or economic ones, and if not by choice, then by default. If reflect we must, some resolution of this quandary is necessary. How then to proceed?

DepositSubverted Intentions and the Potential for “Found” Collectivity in Natalie Bookchin’s Mass Ornament

This paper explores the ways in which Natalie Bookchin’s video loop installation entitled Mass Ornament (2009) both replicates and diverges from the notion of the mass ornament articulated by Siegfried Kracauer in the 1930s. By appropriating YouTube videos of many anonymous amateurs dancing alone in their homes and synchronizing them so that the dancers seem to dance together, Bookchin’s video subverts the individualistic intentions apparent in the video for a previously unintended collective purpose. In doing so, her video reveals both the tendencies toward conformity within these individual videos as well as the contingent, everyday details of each video that marks its difference from all of the others. In addition, Mass Ornament points to the potential for a kind of “found” collectivity, since this ornament – unlike those of the Tiller Girls examined by Kracauer, which was constructed from above – lay dormant within the digital archive of YouTube until another user – in this case, Bookchin – “found” and revealed it. Thus, Bookchin’s film acknowledges both the dystopian and utopian promise of both digital media and the collaborative, digital archives of the Internet.

DepositDirecting the Heart: Early Rabbinic Language and the Anatomy of Ritual Space

Neis traces an expression of bodily language (kavvanat halev, literally “directing the heart”) from biblical to early rabbinic sources and demonstrates how it oriented people to the affective, physical, and spatial dimensions of prayer. Rejecting a binary that would treat such language as either mental/subjective (and thus metaphorically) or soley physical/objective , Neis argues that we must unpack the fraught meaning of such corporeal spatial terminology to understand “rabbinic concepts of body-mind, ritual technology, and sacred geography.” Neis highlights the guidelines for the body in prayer mode found in the rulings of Mishnah and Tosefta Berakhot, which provide a geography and choreography of bodily and affective orientation that calls into question the notion of a fixed, mandate to turn toward the site of the Jerusalem Temple. Although later directions found in the Babylonian Talmud on the praying toward the holy of holies have come to be viewed as normative, Neis warns against reading these into the earlier sources on prayer, finding multiple focal points in her anatomy of the tannaitic evidence. Analyzing kavvanat halev in Mishnah Rosh Hoshana 3 and its parallel in the Tosefta, Neis shows how the sages turned hearing into ritual listening and ordinary gazing into observing, directions grounded in the body, space, and affect. Neis closes with a section on the broader implications of this analysis for scholarly discussions of mind/body dualisms and metaphorical and embodied language.